Ban on import of luxury items to protect Foreign Exchange Reserves suggested

Ban on import of luxury items to protect Foreign Exchange Reserves suggested

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday asked the government to slap a complete ban on import of luxury items to protect foreign exchange reserves which will also promote local industry, employment, and revenue.

Revising regulatory duty on import of luxury and unnecessary items was a good step but authorities could consider a ban on imports as many countries, including Iran, Nigeria, and Egypt, had experienced the same, said ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt in a statement.

He said that Pakistan had been importing 80,000 luxury cars and thousands of costly motorcycles and countless other items worth billions of dollars which could be banned.

The items, whose import was not necessary, included whey powder, grated or powdered cheese of all kinds, processed cheese, desiccated coconut, fresh grapes, watermelons, apricots, peaches prunes, apples, tamarind, cherries, pine nuts plums, lychees, raisins and dried fruits, he said.

Moreover, he said, import of betel leaves, beet sugar, cane sugar, white crystalline cane sugar, cocoa powder, potatoes, vegetables, pineapples, juices, soya sauces, tomato ketchup, tomato sauces and mustard flour could also be banned.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said increasing regulatory duty on imports or banning imports could only work when smuggling was controlled otherwise all such efforts remain counterproductive.

He said the government should inform the masses about the benefits of the trade deals with partner countries before signing new deals.