Import Ban on Luxury Items to Save $600 mn Orders with Bill of Lading Issued Before the Ban Must Proceed Irfan Iqbal Sheikh

Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has demanded that import orders already in place for the banned items in the list announced on Thursday should be cleared first to avoid losses to the importers; otherwise, importers will suffer huge set back as they would not be able to recover their payments already made to their exporting partners for the 41 HS Code items in the banned list.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh explained that as provided under proviso to Para-4 of the Import Policy Order (IPO) 2022, the imports for which the bill of lading or irrevocable Letter of Credit was issued preceding to the announcement of an amending order must be exempt from the ban. Therefore, it is an absolute imperative for the government to issue a clarification, in accordance with the law, to mitigate the panic that has spread in the market after the ban.

FPCCI Chief emphasized that the implementation of the decision should be carried out meticulously and a breathing period of 2 weeks should be allowed; so that, all the prior orders in place before the ban was announced could be completed. He noted that it would be illegal to enforce the ban on the orders placed before the decision was taken by the government.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh added that the business community appreciates the ban on non-essential luxury items in general; as it will save precious foreign exchange in the current time of crisis. He also pinned his hopes on the government to have foreign exchange crunch sorted out before the ban period of two months is over.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh maintained that the move will save $600 million over the course of two months; and, as a result, will help slow down the depletion of foreign exchange reserves and help stabilize the rupee value.

Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.

Secretary General