Govt lifts ban on import of luxury items

Muhammad Asad
ISLAMABAD: The coalition government left a ban on the import of luxuries and non-essential items and imposed increased Federal Regulatory Duty to curb the purchases of foreign products. It was announced by the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail Coordinator to the Prime Minister on Economy, Bilal Azhar Kayani, and Coordinator to the PM on Commerce and Industry, Rana Ihsan Afzal flanked during a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
Finance Minister told the media that the government planned to impose regulatory duties up to maximum levels such as 400 to 800 percent even more than that on the imports of non-essential items so these goods could not enter the local market as finished items. While responding to a media query, he said that heavy-duty electronics appliances, cars, cellphones, and other completely built-up (CBU) items together with non-luxuries items including meat, fish, and others will be imposed on Miftah said that the government reserves do not permit the imports of luxurious items instead the government prefers to import food items including cooking oil, wheat, corn flour, and other edibles for the use of common Pakistanis.
According to Finance Minister, the government is letting a ban on imports of luxury items due to a c condition of the International Monetary Funds (IMF) in connection with an expected release of the first tranche of funds under EFF program. Miftah said that the government policies are proving their worth, and the economy is getting better despite an increase in imports during the current year.
To another question, he said the government has taken back the previous tax regime through which small shopkeepers were brought into the fixed tax regime. According to him, 5 percent sales tax and 7.5 percent income tax will be mandatory for all shopkeepers for the next three months. He told the reporters that from October 1st, the sales and income tax will be imposed according to the electricity bills of the shopkeepers.Miftah said that the government intends to increase taxes on Tobbaco and cigarettes and preparing to remove subsidies on oil and gas.
Miftah thanked Allah that the Pakistani rupee was the only currency in the world which maintained a continuous appreciation while the Pakistan Stock Exchange was the sole market in the globe that gained momentum throughout the current month. Miftah expressed hope that the economy will improve further in the coming weeks because Pakistan has sent a letter of intent to the IMF which will pave the path for the release of funds from the global lender.