The government has lifted the ban from importing vehicles today. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced during a news press conference held in Islamabad that the federal government will be lifting the ban on the import of non-essential and luxury items. And this includes CBU vehicles as well.
The current government imposed the ban soon after it came into power to curb the dangerously rising import bill. Mifta said,
We’re lifting curbs on all imports,
We had to choose between importing cars and wheat. Therefore the government had imposed a ban on the import of non-essential items,
Pakistan’s central bank reserves have fallen as low as US$7.8 billion. The minister further said that the policies implemented by the current government to stabilise the economy have been working and the results will soon be apparent for all to see. The ban was implemented to stop the hemorrhaging of foreign reserves. The government had been frantically trying to cut down the import bill by taking such measures. In the first four months of the current fiscal year, the current account deficit (CAD) crossed 5 billion dollars. The eight month of fiscal year 2022 ended with $1.102bn worth of import bill compared to $557 million in the same month of the previous fiscal year.
However, the minister has also indicated that all the completely built units of non-essential and luxury items will now be heavily taxed from now on. Additional regulatory duties will be slapped on such items making them almost impossible for the majority of the consumers to buy them. The finance minister further mentioned:
Even then, if a person wants to import a car that is originally worth Rs60 million [but after the regulatory duties] it will cost them Rs300-400 million, they can import it.
The CBU vehicles offered by companies here like Toyota Land Cruiser or Toyota Prius as well as Kia Carnival will get even expensive.
The ban lift is being linked with the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).