Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced on Thursday that the government has imposed a ban on the import of 38 non-essential luxury items under an “emergency economic plan”.
She made the announcement while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. Shortly after, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took to Twitter to say that the decision would “save the country precious foreign exchange”.
“We will practice austerity and 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 government,” he said, adding that the nation would overcome these challenges with “resolve and determination”.
The decision comes as the dollar has witnessed a meteoric rise against the rupee over the past few weeks on account of the country’s rising import bill, growing current account deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves. On Thursday, the dollar soared to Rs200 in the interbank market and broke all records.
During her press conference, the information minister assured the nation that PM Shehbaz was “working day and night to stabilise the economy”.
Maryam Aurangzeb said that in light of this, it was decided to impose a ban on the import of all non-essential luxury items. “These items are those which are not in use of the general public,” she said as she identified imported vehicles as one such item.
List of banned Imported items
- Mobile phones
- Home appliances
- Fruits and dry fruits (except from Afghanistan)
- Private weapons and ammunition
- Chandeliers and lighting (except energy savers)
- Headphones and loudspeakers
- Doors and window frames
- Travelling bags and suitcases
- Sanitary ware
- Fish and frozen fish
- Carpets (except from Afghanistan)
- Preserved fruits
- Tissue paper
- Luxury mattresses and sleeping bags
- Jams and jelly
- Heaters, blowers
- Kitchen ware
- Aerated water
- Frozen meat
- Ice cream
- Shaving goods
- Luxury leather apparel
- Musical instruments
- Salon items like hair dryers etc
She declared that it was “an emergency situation” and Pakistanis would have to make sacrifices under the economic plan, adding that the impact of these bans would be around $6 billion.
She said the new measures would also have an impact on the current account deficit, adding that this step had been taken under an “emergency economic plan”. She said that a meeting will also be held later today on how to reduce the impact of energy prices on consumers.