The government will lift the import ban on some items in the upcoming weeks, according to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, but restrictions for cellphones, cars, and home appliances will remain in place.

He stated that the Commerce Ministry has sent a summary to the federal cabinet for removing restrictions on the import of non-essential and luxury items while speaking at a seminar about the performance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) here in the federal capital.

According to the finance minister, the decision was made in light of a lower import bill as a result of restrictions placed on the import of new machinery and raw materials, as well as lower oil prices on the global market. “In the upcoming months, we anticipate a decrease in petroleum product imports. Lower imports will enable Pakistan to conserve its foreign currency, he continued.

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He continued by saying he was hopeful for higher dollar inflows compared to outflows starting in the upcoming month, which would ease pressure on the local currency.

“Imports in Pakistan as of July 25 were $3.758 billion and our total imports are likely to be $4.824 billion. This number will be less than our exports plus remittance”, he had written on Twitter a day earlier.

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The ban on 30 categories and 83 Customs headings was reportedly requested to be lifted by the finance minister on Tuesday to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

He did, however, suggest that the Commerce Ministry keep the ban on completely built units (CBUs), cars, and home appliances in place.

Speaking with Profit, sources said that between May 19 and July 19, 2021, Pakistan imported CBU automobiles, mobile phones, and home appliances worth Rs399 million. However, after the ban was imposed on May 19, 2022, the trend of importing these items decreased.

Pakistan imported goods worth Rs123 million between May 19 and July 19, 2022, a difference of Rs276 million compared to the corresponding months of the previous fiscal year.

It is important to note that the government has outright banned the import of cars, mobile phones, home appliances, dry fruits (aside from those from Afghanistan), crockery, shoes, chandeliers, lights (except energy savers), headphones, and loudspeakers.

Some items on the list included condiments, doors and window frames, travel bags and suitcases, sanitary ware, fish and frozen fish, preserved fruits, tissue paper, furniture, shampoos, confectionery, luxury mattresses, and sleeping bags, jams and jellies, cornflakes, toiletries, heaters, blowers, sunglasses, kitchenware, aerated water, frozen meat, juices, pasta, ice cream, cigarettes, shaving supplies, luxury leather apparel, and musical instruments.