Pakistan imposed a ban on the import of cars, mobile phones and other non-essential, luxury items in an effort to take the country out of the ongoing financial crisis.
New Pakistan government let by Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif declares financial emergency to reduce Pakistan’s imports and stabilize economy for at least 2 months. The big step is taken as imports ban will reduce imports bill by $6 billion in upcoming year.
Focus is to increase exports and reduce the trade deficit which swelled to a massive $39.3 billion in the last 10 months of the fiscal year 2021-22. It will also increase local jobs as local products will get better price and coverage in the local market.
“My decision to ban import of luxury items will save the country precious foreign exchange. We will practice austerity & financially stronger people must lead in this effort so that the less privileged among us do not have to bear this burden inflicted on them by the PTI govt,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.
A number of products are added to the import ban list by the Pakistan government.
The list includes the following luxury items.
- All cars and vehicles (1300+ cc)
- Mobile phones
- Home appliances
- Dry fruits and fruits
- Kitchen products
- Lightning products
- Decoration products
- Sauces and frozen food
- Sanitary products
- Doors and window frames
- Fish and frozen foods
- Tissue papers
- Makeup products and cosmetic
Meanwhile, PTI leader Hammad Azhar questioned the government’s move, arguing that these items only made up a small percentage of the country’s import bill.
“Millions of traders and shopkeepers will be affected by these steps and it will also have an effect on bilateral trade,” he said on Twitter, adding that it would also contribute to a rise in smuggling.