In order to curtail the foreign reserves and control the import bill which is running rampant like a raging bull, the government has decided to take extreme measures by putting a complete ban on the import a number of ‘non essential’ items as well as CBU imported vehicles, whether new or used.
Some 800 items in 33 categories are prohibited to be imported in the country. Only heavy commercial vehicles will be allowed to import. According to the Information Minister Mariam Aurangzeb, this is an emergency situation, Pakistanis will have to make sacrifices and cut down their dependency on imports. She claims the move will save the country $500 million monthly and around $6 billion annually.
Who will suffer?
A complete ban on the import of new CBU cars means an end to the likes of luxury vehicles such as Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes. Imported offerings on the menu of local assemblers such as Suzuki APV, Vitara, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Prius & Corolla Cross as well as the new Land Cruiser are now prohibited. Even those vehicles already booked to be delivered later than 19th May 2022 will be affected. Only those vehicles having reached the Karachi port thus far, will be cleared and delivered to the customers.
This will also impact the newcomers which were heavily dependent on CBU imports, rather than readying their plants to roll out locally assembled units. MG, Sazgar-Haval and up to some extent Proton will also suffer from the ban. Customers who have their CBUs already booked and yet to get deliveries should immediately contact the dealerships. Import of used-cars will also be stopped completely.
Local assembled cars to become even more expensive
But the impact of emergency measures won’t be restricted to CBU cars only, as the government has decided to increase the duties on the import of CKD kits for the local assembly of cars. The proposal which is yet to get formal approval will see the regulatory duty (RD) on cars above 1,000cc jump by 100% while Additional Custom Duty (ACD) will stand at 30%. Meanwhile, the RD on imported tires will also be increased by up to 50%.
These additional duties, coupled with rising Dollar rate which has now surpassed Rs 200 will see another major price revision for the local assembled vehicles. Bear in mind PKR has further depreciated by Rs 12 since the latest price hike by assemblers came into effect.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com