Miftah Ismail defends ban on luxury items import

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that government will not remove ban on the import of luxury items for the betterment of economy.

Addressing the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday, the finance minister said that the government imposed ban on luxury items for the improvement of economy. He refused to lift ban on the import of mobile phones, home appliances and vehicles.

Yesterday, while addressing a ceremony at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Miftah said that the government would control imports for the next three months, even if it came at the cost of slower growth.

“I will not allow imports to increase for three months and, in the meantime, we will come up with a policy. I understand that growth will be reduced for a bit but I have no other choice,” he said.

The finance minister said that some banks cooperated and some banks suffered losses. He warned the small banks of consequences if they did not comply with the government order.

He said that government tried hard to bring the rate of dollar down. He appreciated the role of the State Bank of Pakistan. He held that the dollar rate fluctuates following the mechanism of supply and demand.

He asked the traders to not import things through their open account. He said that traders would have to face the inconvenience till September for which he begged their pardon.

The minister said there was no denying the fact that country was left behind. “We have suggested to impose Rs3,000 tax on small traders,” he added.

Yesterday, Miftah announced that the government had withdrawn the fixed tax on retailers in electricity bills for the moment, adding that a new action plan would be made after further consultations on the tax issue.

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