The announcement was made by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb at a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
Automobiles and mobile phones are among the notable products whose import has been banned. The complete list of items includes:
- Mobile Phones
- Home Appliances
- Fruits and Dry Fruits (except from Afghanistan)
- Private Weapons & Ammunition
- Chandeliers & Lighting (except Energy Savers)
- Headphones & Loudspeakers
- Sauces, Ketchup etc.
- Doors and Window Frames
- Travelling Bags and Suitcases
- Sanitary ware
- Fish & Frozen Fish
- Carpets (except from Afghanistan)
- Preserved Fruits
- Tissue Paper
- Luxury mattresses & sleeping bags
- Jams & Jelly
- Bathroom ware / Toiletries
- Heaters / Blowers
- Kitchen ware
- Aerated water
- Frozen Meat
- Pasta etc.
- Ice cream
- Shaving Goods
- Luxury Leather Apparel
- Musical Instruments
- Saloon items like hair dryers etc.
The minister announced that the government is preparing a plan to promote local manufacturers so that employment opportunities are generated.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Hammad Azhar questioned the decision to ban imports of certain items and said that the items only made up a small percentage of the country’s total import bill.
“Non-oil current account deficit stands at just under $1 billion. These measures to ban items will be inconsequential,” the minister said in a tweet.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s import bill has surged to $65.5 billion in the first ten months of the current fiscal year, up from $44.73 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan are also down to a 23-month low.