ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has announced a ban on the import of 38 non-essential luxury items under ’emergency economic plan’ amid the record fall of country’s currency against the US dollar, on account of the rising import bill, and depleting foreign exchange reserves.
The decision would “save the country precious foreign exchange”, said Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“My decision to ban import of luxury items will save the country precious foreign exchange. We will practice austerity and financially stronger people must lead in this effort so that the less privileged among us do not have to bear this burden inflicted on them by the PTI government,” Sharif tweeted.
This comes as Pakistan’s currency plunged to the lowest ever level on Wednesday, as the US dollar for the first time in Islamabad’s history went beyond PKR200 benchmark in open market.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced the ban while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
She said that Shehbaz was “working day and night to stabilise the economy” of Pakistan and this ban on the import of all non-essential luxury items, was imposed for the same.
“These items are those which are not in use of the general public,” she said as she identified imported vehicles as one such item.
She even admitted Pakistanis would have to make sacrifices under the economic plan.
“We will have to reduce our dependency on imports,” she said, adding that the government was now focusing on exports.