ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Commerce is making a plan to control increasing imports of the country, which had touched all time high $60 billion during last fiscal year (FY2018).

"The government is planning to increase Regulatory Duty (RD) on more than one thousand imported items," said an official of the ministry of commerce while talking to The Nation.

He said that ministry would present its plan to the next government for approval. Pakistan's trade deficit had surged to all-time high $37.67 billion during FY2018 as imports increased faster than exports.

Pakistan's imports have recorded at $60.9 billion during FY2018 as against $52.9 billion of the previous year showing an increase of 15.1 percent.

On the other hand, the country's exports had increased to $23.2 billion during FY2018 as against $20.4 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year showing growth of 13.74 percent.

The official said that government could not control the imports of oil products, capital goods, petroleum products and food products. However, it may target the non essential imported commodities to increase the tax or duty.

In December 2017, the then government had also revised regulatory duty (RD) on dozens of imported items, of which RD was imposed on 11 items (58 tariff lines), scrapped on 8 items (59 tariff lines), increased on 5 items (43 tariff lines) and reduced on 6 items (22 tariff lines) on the proposal of different sectors.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had recently announced 100 percent cash margin restrictions on the import of 131 items to discourage import of nonessential items. The SBP has imposed cash margins on several items including tyre rubber for bus, motor cycles (old used or recondition), sack kraft paper, tropical wood, gum base used for chewing gum, CNG kits for vehicles, remote control, air conditioning machines, air pumps and gas compressors, part of air/vacuum pumps, sim cards, paper & paper board in sheet, coin sorting or coin counting machine, data processing equipment and other items.