`Olive Oil Exempt from Pakistan Import Ban - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Exempt from Pakistan Import Ban

By Paolo DeAndreis
May. 25, 2022 16:57 UTC

The Pakistan FMCG Importers Association is vig­or­ously protest­ing Islamabad’s deci­sion to halt imports of dozens of food prod­ucts and goods con­sid­ered not essen­tial.”

The gov­ern­men­t’s deci­sion was announced last week as a part of a pack­age of urgent mea­sures needed to bring sta­bil­ity to the coun­try’s tee­ter­ing econ­omy.

(For) all those nonessen­tial lux­ury items that are not used by the wider pub­lic, a com­plete ban has been imposed on their import. There is an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try.- Marriyum Aurangzeb, Pakistani Minister of Information

Currently, edi­ble oils and olive oils are not included in the ban, with the com­plete list of banned items sub­ject to con­tin­u­ous updates.

Among the banned foods are pasta, sauces, fish, frozen foods, fruits, dry fruits, juices, jams and jelly. Other pro­hib­ited goods include cars, shoes, car­pets, fur­ni­ture, kitchen­ware, choco­late, musi­cal instru­ments and cos­met­ics.

See Also:Record Heatwave and Drought in Pakistan Threaten Crops and Olive Farming

Minister of Information Marriyum Aurangzeb told the media that the order includes all those nonessen­tial lux­ury items that are not used by the wider pub­lic, a com­plete ban has been imposed on their import.”

There is an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try,” she added. It is not known for how long the ban will be deployed.

The local importers asso­ci­a­tion warned that the government’s sud­den deci­sion will dev­as­tate the whole import sec­tor, with rev­enue from taxes and duties expected to col­lapse.

PFIA offi­cials have noted that thou­sands of com­pa­nies that reg­u­larly pay taxes will be forced to close in the wake of the ban, while hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple will lose their jobs, with broad socio-eco­nomic con­se­quences.

Since the ban affects food for ani­mals, a large protest has been seen in Karachi. According to local media, a coali­tion of food importers, vet­eri­nar­i­ans, retail­ers and pet own­ers have asked for the ban on ani­mal food to be removed.

According to Aurangzeb, the gov­ern­men­t’s import ban and other aus­ter­ity mea­sures will help save up to €5.6 bil­lion each year. The min­is­ter added that the import ban should bring up to €470 mil­lion in sav­ings.

See Also:Olive Farmers in Pakistan Seek Government Assistance to Scale Production

According to local media, 62 per­cent of the whole import bill for April, about €3.75 bil­lion, was related to fuel, food items, prod­ucts and chem­i­cals for agri­cul­tural pur­poses.

The deep­en­ing eco­nomic cri­sis is crip­pling the coun­try and is one of the main rea­sons for the oust­ing of for­mer Prime Minister Imran Khan by a no-con­fi­dence vote last month.

The coun­try is cur­rently nego­ti­at­ing extra­or­di­nary fund­ing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose sup­port depends on the abil­ity of the coun­try to intro­duce eco­nomic reforms.

The essen­tial items con­sumed by the mid­dle class can­not be touched, so the bur­den has to fall on cut­ting the con­sump­tion of elites,” Asif Arshalan H. Soomro, an eco­nomic ana­lyst, told Gulf News.

Every lit­tle mea­sure helps in the short term since we are time-pressed,” he added. Even sav­ing $500 mil­lion (€470 mil­lion) a month mat­ters because it means nego­ti­at­ing with IMF for another $500 mil­lion that would have fur­ther covenants.”

According to the Times of India, Pakistan’s cur­rent account deficit exceeds 4.5 per­cent of the gross domes­tic prod­uct, in a sce­nario where the import bill has risen to €61.4 bil­lion against the €24.6 bil­lion worth of exports in the last 10 months.

National reserves are also rapidly dry­ing up, falling from €15.3 bil­lion at the end of February to €9.4 bil­lion in May.


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