Government bans import of all luxury, non-essential items

government bans all imports on luxury, non-essential items

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif banned on Thursday the import of around 41 luxury items to halt the looming economic crisis. The move comes under the federal cabinet’s plan to ease the burden on the country’s struggling economy.

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The decision will affect the import of electronics, cosmetics, food products, and toiletries. The proposal came after a series of meetings held by the government’s Finance Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office.

The move is the first major policy change by the new coalition government. The decision is now pending to be approval by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organisation (WTO). The WTO has a policy of encouraging states to keep trade open but will allow restrictions on trade under special circumstances.

The restriction on imports is set to be in place for two months and is expected to lower the monthly import bill by $300 million, according to statistics provided by the Federal Board of Revenue. However, this saving is roughly 5% of the country’s total monthly import bill of $6.6 billion.

Several industries will be affected by this move, chiefly the cosmetic, electronics, food, and manufacturing industries.

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