Senate body calls for ban on imported cars, cosmetics and luxury items

ISLAMABAD: The Standing Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue has recommended that the government ban the importation of cars, cosmetics and other luxury items for a limited period in order to curb rising import bills.

The Senate panel also summoned the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to its next meeting. Senator Sherry Rehman objected to the formulation of the panel chair, Senator Talha Mehmood, when he called for a ban on the importation of products related to “surkhi powder” (cosmetics), after which she boycotted and left the meeting.

Earlier, Senator Sherry Rehman exchanged harsh words with Treasury Member Faisal Rehman when he said that, at the behest of the IMF, the government was presenting a mini-budget. Faisal Rehman replied that the Pakistani people always pay a high price for the bad decisions made during the tenure of the PPP regime, so there is no need to score points by sitting here on this committee.

The Standing Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue held its meeting chaired by Senator Talha Mehmood here in Parliament on Wednesday.

PMLN member Senator Saadia Abbasi raised the issue that NAB officials harassed her family members by titling bank details. The NAB had requested details of her late mother who died five years ago, she added. The committee decided to convene the president of the NAB at the next meeting.

The Senate group decided to postpone important items on the agenda, including information on Saudi Arabia’s deposits with its terms and conditions, the current state of the economy in light of current inflation , the increase in the trade deficit, the depreciation of the exchange rate, the increase in debt and liabilities and uncertainty in the markets because of the absence of the Prime Minister’s financial adviser, Shaukat Tarin, in this important meeting.

After deciding to postpone any other important agendas, the Senate committee chair resumed the mini-budget agenda for the current fiscal year. The Federal Secretary of Finance informed the committee that work on the introduction of the Tax Law Amendment Bill was underway and that it would be presented to Parliament after seeking approval from the Federal Cabinet.

The Chairman of the Committee was of the opinion that imports of non-essential or luxury items should be prohibited for a certain period when the country urgently needed to reduce the import bill. He said import duties on life-saving drugs should be reduced but imports of luxury items should be banned. “All of these luxury items should be banned.

We must increase exports. Duties on life-saving drugs should be reduced. All these measures should be taken in order to avoid the outbreak of a financial crisis in the country, ”he concluded.

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