Govt bans import of non-essential & luxury items to control inflation, stabilize foreign exchange reserves
Marriyum Aurangzeb says PM Shehbaz making strenuous efforts to provide relief to the common people
Says no-one can give deadline for elections, except the govt, after consultation with its allies
ISLAMABAD (Web News )
The Government has banned import of non-essential and luxury items to control inflation, stabilize foreign exchange reserves, strengthen economy, and reduce country’s reliance on imports.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb announced this while addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
The government has decided to ban the import of the following items:
Mobile phones, Vehicles , Home appliances ,Fruits and dry fruits (except Afghanistan) ,Crockery ,Private weapons and ammunition .Shoes ,Chandeliers and lighting (except energy savers) ,Headphones and loudspeakers ,Sauces, ketchup etc. ,Doors and window frames ,Traveling bags and suitcases , Sanitary ware , Fish and frozen fish ,Carpets (except Afghanistan) , Preserved fruits , Tissue paper , Furniture , Shampoos , Automobile , Confectionary , Luxury mattresses and sleeping bags , Jams and jelly , Cornflakes , Bathroom ware/toiletries , Heaters/blowers , Sunglasses ,Kitchenware ,Aerated water , Frozen meat , Juices , Pasta etc , Ice cream , Cigarettes ,Shaving goods, Luxury leather apparel, Musical instruments, Saloon items like hairdryers etc. , Chocolates , Dry and fresh fruits, Crockery, Private weapons, Decoration items, Preserved and frozen food items, Sanitary where, Beauty and confectionary items.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government is working on an emergency fiscal plan and economic management and annual impact of these steps will be around six billion dollars. She said it will also help reduce Current Account Deficit. She said the prime objective of these measures are aimed at reducing reliance on imports and introduce export oriented policy to promote local industry in the country. She said a plan is also being prepared to promote local manufacturers so that people will be provided employment opportunities.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is making strenuous efforts to provide relief to the common people. She said those, who are questioning the performance of a four-week government, should be ashamed of this approach. She said the dollar rate was 115 rupees when PML-N left the government, while the last government of PTI took this price to 189 rupees. She said it was former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who successfully completed the IMF programme in 2015 and included Pakistan in global emerging markets. She said the last government gave unfunded subsidy on petroleum products to paralyse Pakistan’s economy.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government is also taking measures to improve energy situation in the country.
Answering a question, Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will address to the nation in next one or two days. She also made it clear that no-one can give deadline for elections, except the government, after consultation with its allies. She said anyone talking of a bloody march should keep it in mind that the law will not spare such elements.
Lashing out at the PTI, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that former prime minister Imran Khan had put all the cases against his government on the backburner. She held the PTI government responsible for the exponential rise in inflation and for causing “economic terrorism”.
“He promised an unfunded [fuel] subsidy and played with the economy. He tried to trap the incoming government,” she claimed, adding that Imran was woefully unaware of the country’s economic problems.
Rejecting the PTI’s continuous calls for conducting early elections, the minister asserted that the government and its allies would make a decision in this regard, not the other way around. “It is our decision when to hold elections […] If you intended to hold elections, you would have done so before the no-trust motion was submitted.”
Marriyum Aurangzeb maintained that only the current government could steer the country out of the current economic crisis. The prime minister is working on reducing inflation but such decisions require round-the-clock efforts, she said.
“We have the capacity and experience to fix the current economic issues. The step taken to ban imported items is aimed at stabilising the economy.”
Berating the PTI for calling out the incumbent government on the economic turmoil, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Imran Khan-led government hiked inflation, took historic loans, committed “economic terrorism”, and played with the country’s economy by subsidising petroleum prices.
The information minister noted that the PTI government went against the agreement it had made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by subsidising the price of petroleum products.
“Now, we cannot come out of the conditions put forth by the IMF for Pakistan. But despite that, instead of shifting the burden of conspirators on Pakistanis, the PML-N and its allies do not plan on doing this as it has never been their manifesto,” Marriyum Aurangzeb said.
The information minister said during the previous government did not have an economic plan. “[Ex-prime minister] Imran Khan would often say that he wasn’t in power to know about the rates of tomatoes.”
“They [PTI] first exported sugar, then imported it and sold it at Rs120, whereas, during the PML-N’s tenure, it stood Rs62 per kg. And during their tenure, women stood for a kilo of sugar in long queues. Don’t they have any same? Do they think that the people of Pakistan have forgotten all this?”
Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government will hold elections “when it wishes to”.
The information minister, in response to Khan’s question of why did courts open at midnight, said the courts had opened their doors to stop a person from violating the constitution.
Marriyu,m Aurangzeb said the previous government did not have a plan and would abuse the institutions. “But this government will take the country out of the crisis.”
The minister said PM Shehbaz, unlike Khan, looks at the price of sugar, wheat, and tomatoes before going to sleep and was constantly planning on ways to provide relief to the people. “We have the capacity and experience to stabilise the economy […] unlike Imran Khan during whose tenure dollar’s rate increased substantially,” she said.
Marriyum Aurganzeb said that the legal team of government is working and we will submit our replying regarding the suo moto notice took by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial on the perceived apprehension of “persons in authority” undermining the criminal justice system.
Shortly after the press conference of Marriyum Aurangzeb, Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif took to Twitter to say that the decision would “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,” he said.
“My decision to ban import of luxury items will save the country precious foreign exchange. We will practice austerity & 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 govt” Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.