Govt lift luxury items import ban to meet IMF Condition; Miftah Ismail

According to Miftah, Govt will lift the luxury items import ban. the administration found it easier to import necessities for the general populace after the import prohibition.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government relaxed the import restriction on upscale goods on Thursday in order to satisfy an IMF requirement before the board’s meeting later this month to resurrect the $6 billion loan package.

Miftah Ismail stated during a news conference alongside other members of the government’s economic team that the import restriction on non-luxury goods was put in place in accordance with the IMF’s requirements.

Miftah pushes emphasis on exports at the meeting in Islamabad luxury items import ban

According to Miftah, the IMF has now confirmed that its board meeting will be held on August 29 in order to discuss Pakistan’s request for the release of the $1.17 billion tranche. This announcement came after much back and forth.

The finance minister stated that after friendly nations agreed to give Pakistan financial support, the government had also satisfied all lender requirements and the $4 billion funding gap had also been addressed.

According to Miftah, the administration found it easier to import necessities for the general populace after the import prohibition.

“When we have a small budget and a large population to feed, [the nation] immediately takes precedence. We put a moratorium on [non-essential commodities] because we had to decide between importing vehicles and wheat.”

The finance minister stated that the government was lifting the import embargo because it was a demand of the international community, but added that the regulatory tariff that would be placed on non-essential imports would be three times greater than it is at the moment.

“These goods won’t be able to be imported [easily] or at least not in their finished condition since we will levy such high duties. Cotton, edible oil, and wheat will be my top priorities because I don’t have enough money. I don’t put automobiles or iPhones first.”

Cigarette and tobacco taxation

The minister stated that the government would levy tobacco and cigarette taxes totaling Rs36 billion.

“The Rs1,850 tax on cigarettes would now be Rs2,050, while the Rs5,900 tariff on Tier-1 cigarettes would be raised to Rs6,500.”

“The green leaf cess, which was previously reduced by the previous government from Rs300 to Rs10, has been raised to Rs380.”

IMF initiative

Before the Executive Board meeting on August 29 that is set to take place, the finance minister stated at the beginning of the press conference that Pakistan has complied with all prior IMF decisions.

“The IMF informed us that there is a $4 billion financial deficit. It required a $6.5 billion boost in our foreign exchange holdings. Thankfully, three friendly nations helped us raise the $4 billion cash, he said.

“China has pledged to re-roll the $2 billion and has given its aid. Saudi Arabia has also declared that it will roll over upcoming loans. Pakistan’s financing needs have been satisfied.”

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