On the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail, announced lifting of the ban on the import of luxury and non-essential goods on Thursday. He added, however, that the Regulatory Duties (RDs) would be increased significantly to deter the import of such items.

“It is requirement of the international community that there should be no ban so we are lifting ban on all products. But simultaneously the duties I am going to impose would not let these commodities to enter into Pakistan as finished goods,” according to Finance Minister.

According to the minister, RDs would be increased three times, or to the highest degree conceivable, and may potentially increase by up to 400 to 600 per cent or more.


Keeping in view his duty to offer basic and vital goods to the nation’s citizens, he said that the prime minister was against the importation of luxury goods, according to APP.

To comply with the IMF, international agreements, and World Trade Organization, he claimed the restriction had been lifted. Although import taxes would be applied on expensive food, clothing, and other items, anyone still wishing to import is free to do so.

He said that the available resources will be used to give the people of the country grain, wheat, cotton, and edible oil rather than iPhones or fancy cars. He claimed that Pakistan did not have a lot of money to spend on the import of opulent things.

The finance minister stated in response to a question that the levies on completely built-up (CBU) automobiles, appliances, imported meat and salmon, as well as other luxuries, would increase. He explained that the government’s goal was to limit imports while adhering to the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international accords, not to promote the import of such goods.

On the other hand, since the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits are not considered luxury items, their import will resume without any caveats. However, its positive impact on the sales figures will be seen after a few months.

According to the finance minister, Pakistan and the fund have been in lengthy negotiations. The IMF board is due to convene on August 29 and will decide whether to accept Pakistan’s programme because it has already complied with all requirements and performed all necessary preliminary steps.

He said that friendly nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates helped arrange the $4 billion cash for strengthening the nation’s foreign exchange reserves. China also agreed to roll over $2 billion in loans, and Saudi Arabia agreed to roll over its own assets. According to him, the finance need has been satisfied.

According to the minister, the requirement for the electricity tariff has also been met, thus there won’t be any non-funding subsidies.

In addition, he said that the government was expected to get Rs42 billion from retail tax, but when the decision was reversed, the objective was cut to Rs27 billion, and the Rs15 billion shortfall will be filled by increasing the tax on tobacco and cigarettes.

Moreover, taxes on tobacco and cigarettes will bring in Rs36 billion. Tier-2 cigarettes’ tax will rise from Rs1,850 to Rs2,050 per 1,000 cigarettes, while Tier-1 cigarettes’ tax would rise from Rs5,900 to Rs6,500 per 1,000 cigarettes. The green leaf Cess has also been raised from Rs10 per kg to Rs380.

According to Bloomberg’s report, the Pakistani Rupee was the best performing currency in the world during August, and the Pakistan Stock Exchange continued to be the top performing stock market in the world, therefore the minister believed that the country’s economy was strengthening.

The minister stated that the government was implementing a policy of self-reliance in order to stay within its means, reduce the fiscal deficit, and raise imports to a level equal to exports plus remittance in order to control the current account deficit.