PAKISTAN,US: The Pakistani Government on Wednesday decided to impose a ban on the import of non-essential and luxury items as the cash-strapped nation tried to avert a financial meltdown amid depleting foreign reserves, according to a media report.
Quoting sources, Geo News reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has imposed a ban on the import of non-essential items that are not used by the common man.
The decision is said to be important to control the dollar flight, it said.
The sources said that the Prime Minister has banned the import of luxury vehicles and other non-essential items, including cosmetics, for which instructions have also been issued.
The US dollar has witnessed a record surge during the past few weeks and was being traded at over Rs 200 in the open market, signalling a lack of confidence among the traders in the financial markets, the report said.
According to sources in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), a proposal to increase duty on some items has been submitted.
Under this, regulatory duty on machinery will be up by 10 per cent and home appliances by 50 per cent. Duty on cars above 1,000cc will be hiked by 100 per cent. Duty on mobile phones will also go up between Rs 6,000 to Rs 44,000 per unit, the report said.
Meanwhile, The World Bank has announced actions it plans to take as part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis, with up to $30 billion in financing in existing and new projects.
The bank said on Wednesday in a statement that the financing in areas such as agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water and irrigation will be available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months, Xinhua news agency reported.
The World Bank is working with countries on the preparation of $12 billion of new projects for the next 15 months to respond to the food security crisis, according to the statement.
“Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
– THE INDIAN EXPRESS, IANS