ECC lifts ban on imported goods

Import of cars, mobiles and home appliances will remain banned

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday decided to lift the ban on imported goods except for auto CBUs, mobile CBUs and home appliances in the light of the fact that imports were substantially reduced due to consistent efforts of the government.

The meeting was held under the chair of Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail at the Finance Division wherein the Ministry of Commerce submitted a summary on the effects of complete quantitative restrictions on the import of non-essential and luxury items. 

It was submitted that the ban which was imposed in May on about 33 categories of goods with the approval of the Cabinet in order to curtail the rising current account deficit (CAD) had proved fruitful with overall imports of the banned items shrinking by over 69% i.e. from $399.4 million to $123.9 million. 

The ECC was informed that a meeting was also held to review the ban after two months owing to serious concerns raised by major trading partners on the imposition of ban and considering the fact that the ban has impacted supply chains and domestic retail industry. The review meeting also noted the decrease in imports. 

Furthermore, all held up consignments except items which remain in the banned category but arrived at ports after July 1 may be cleared subject to payment of a 25% surcharge.    

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary of urgent advice relating to the award of 4th International Wheat Tender 2022 opened on July 25.

It was informed that Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) issued a 4th tender on 19-05-2022 for securing a quantity of 200,000 MT of imported wheat on CFR basis. The tender was opened on 25-07-2022 wherein six international suppliers participated, out of which five offered rates.

The ECC after detailed discussion approved the lowest bid offered by M/S Falconbridge FZ LLC at $407.49/MT CFR bulk on sight LC basis with direction to TCP to negotiate with the Russian authorities to procure wheat at a lower rate subject to confirmation of the ECC. 

Moreover, the Ministry of Water Resources submitted a summary on compensation packages for the Chinese casualties at Dasu Hydro Power project. The ECC decided that the amount of compensation/ goodwill package will remain the same as per ECC’s earlier decision dated January 21, 2022 i.e. $11.6 million, and approved the disbursement of the goodwill amount directly to M/S China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co. Ltd (CGGC) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

 

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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