ISLAMABAD: The government has lifted a ban on the import of raw materials, intermediate goods and machinery for the industrial sector.

A senior official in the commerce ministry told Dawn that a broader decision was taken and the ministry will soon work out the list of items that inadvertently fall in customs codes attracting ban under SRO598 issued on May 19.

“We have received several complaints from industries,” the official said.

This is the second decision of the government when the first clarification was issued on May 25 in which the government lifted the ban on animal feeds and energy savers.

On May 30, the commerce ministry issued an order which said that the SRO598 of 2022 will not apply to the import of raw materials, intermediate goods and industrial equipment/machinery required by industrial/manufacturing concerns and foreign grant-in-aid projects.

The government through an SRO598 of 2022 slapped a ban on the import of nearly 800 items in 33 categories, including food products in a bid to contain the rising import bill to minimise pressure on the country’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

According to the commerce ministry so far government lifted the ban on animal feeds, sanitary pads, and spare parts of the LED. “We are working on the list in consultation with the customs”, the official said.

Customs appoints focal persons at all airports

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Customs has nominated focal persons at all international airports of the country to facilitate passengers and to ensure timely redressal of their complaints.

An official announcement issued here said that the focal persons, who were senior officers of the Customs Department, would be available round the clock over their telephones to help the incoming passengers.

On May 19, the government imposed a ban on nearly 800 imported items, which include imported food items and electronic gadgets, including cell-phones.

Through another order, the Customs Department has stepped up enforcement at the country’s all international airports the government order banning smuggling of recently banned items.

The round-the-clock vigilance at international terminals of the country’s all airports has led to seizures of these banned items, which were being brought to the country in the garb of bona fide passenger baggage.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2022

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