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‘Emergency economic plan’ unveiled

  • Government imposes ban on the import of 38 non-essential luxury items
Updated 20 May, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb Thursday announced the government's decision to impose ban on the import of 38 non-essential luxury items, which would yield $6 billion annual saving of foreign exchange reserves.

Unveiling the move at a press conference here, the minister said that the government is working on an emergency plan to deal with the economic challenges and these steps are part of it.

While briefing the media, she said the government had imposed a ban on luxury items which will have a positive impact on foreign exchange reserves within two months, saving $6 billion annually.

While explaining the non-essential items, she said these items are those which are not in the use of the general public. She said this ban on luxury items will affect the local industry, local producers, and locally-engaged industries in a positive way. Local industry will develop, promotion of local industries in the country will provide employment to the people, she maintained.

The 38 items banned included mobile phones, home appliances, fruits and dry fruits (except from Afghanistan), crockery, private weapons and ammunition, shoes, chandeliers and lighting (except energy savers), headphones and loudspeakers, sauces, ketchup etc, doors and window frames, travelling bags and suitcases, sanitary ware, fish and frozen fish, carpets (except from Afghanistan), preserved fruits, tissue paper, furniture, shampoos, automobiles, confectionary, luxury mattresses and sleeping bags, jams and jelly, cornflakes, bathroom ware/toiletries, heaters/ blowers, sunglasses, kitchenware, aerated water, frozen meat, juices, pasta etc, ice cream, cigarettes, shaving goods, luxury leather apparel, musical instruments, saloon items like hairdryers etc, chocolates.

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There is an emergency situation in the country, in such a time all Pakistanis will have to make sacrifices, said the minister. She further said that the ban on luxury items will have a direct impact on the current account deficit.

“Our priority is to reduce our dependence on imports and introduce an export-oriented economic policy,” she said, adding that the government has developed a fiscal management plan to reduce dependence on foreign loans.

Six million people have been laid off in the last four years, Marriyum Aurangzeb while lashing out at the PTI said that during the last four years, the economy was destroyed, the people of Pakistan were robbed, and the rate of inflation was increased. The minister came down hard on the former prime minister and stated he provided unfunded fuel subsidy and played with the economy and created problems for the incoming government.

She maintained that only the current government could steer the country out of the current economic crisis. The prime minister is working on reducing inflation but such decisions require round-the-clock efforts. “We have the capacity and experience to fix the current economic issues. The step taken to ban imported items is aimed at stabilizing the economy,” she added.

The loan taken in the last four years is 80 per cent of the loan taken from 1947 to 2018. In four years, the loan has been increased from Rs25,000 billion to Rs43,000 billion, she said. Food inflation was 2.3 per cent in the PML-N era, today they are asking questions, they raised the food inflation to 16 per cent, she further added. Pakistan had joined the emerging markets in 2018. The growth rate had reached six per cent, it has been negative in the last four years, she said.

In the last four years, there has been a government of imported government, imported cabinet, imported advisers, and imported spokespersons, she said.

She said Pakistan’s trade deficit was at its highest level during the previous government.

During the PML-N era, the growth rate was six per cent, at that time the country had CPEC, 11000 MW power projects were being built, the value of dollar was stable, said the minister. The dollar was worth Rs105 at the time when the three-time elected prime minister was ousted due to political instability. When the PML-N government came to power in 2018, the value of the dollar was Rs115, she further said.

The conspirators stand on the container questioning the government of four weeks. They should be ashamed of themselves because the dollar was of Rs189 in PTI tenure, she said.

The depletion of foreign reserves took place during his tenure, she said.

Imran Khan signed IMF’s strict terms due to which people are facing trouble today. Imran Khan himself did not trust those who are questioning the country’s economy in the morning, afternoon and evening, she said. Those who came to eradicate corruption in 90 days have increased inflation in Pakistan through corruption. All the ministers and advisers who were imported have been exported and left Pakistan today, she added. Rejecting the PTI’s continuous calls for conducting early elections, the minister asserted that the government and its allies would make a decision in this regard, not the other way around. “It is our prerogative to call elections and we will decide when to hold elections,” she said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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syed arif hussain zahidi May 20, 2022 08:09am
Kindly close all international food franchises/chains as Pakistan can make excellent food and best fast food.
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Dabeer Razvi May 20, 2022 10:35am
A good step. Smuggling of these items should be checked effectively. Out flow of Dollars through illegal means be stopped. It is a National Economic Emergency. We should get out of the Blame game. Will definitely help the local Industry and create jobs.
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Waqas Tareen. May 20, 2022 01:38pm
Good decision.
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Mohammed.fiaz May 20, 2022 05:08pm
What about laundering of billions in to offshore shell companies by the leadership of this government,when that money is going to be brought back into Pakistani economy.
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