ISLAMABAD: To contain the sliding value of rupee and ease mounting pressure on it against American dollar, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decided a temporary ban for 30 days on the import of gold, both under SRO 760 and its commercial imports, under Import Policy Order 2013.
The ECC of the Cabinet which met with Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the chair decided the temporary ban with the aim to stop dollar flight and strengthen dwindling exchange rate. The executive body contemplated the draining out of dollar on account of gold import and expressed that the government was striving hard to ensure ample supplies of the green back to keep exchange rate stable.
Addressing the meeting, the Finance Minister revealed that sharp increase in duty on import of gold in a neighbouring country had given surge to its smuggling activity, adding that the decision would help curb smuggling activities without affecting the legitimate demand supply phenomenon of gold in the country. He pointed out that the exports, however, would continue without any restriction.
It is to be noted that Foreign Exchange Companies had taken up the issue of gold smuggling and consequent pressure on open forex market with the finance minister in a meeting in Karachi and a follow up meeting in Islamabad. Subsequently the matter was placed before the ECC for its consideration. It is worth mentioning here that the government had imposed a ban on gold import on July 30, 2013 for one month and introduced a new import scheme in its place in August 2013. Under the new entrustment scheme, the quantity of gold importable by a single party will be capped at 25kg on a revolving basis while the beneficiary will be obligated to export the imported gold in the form of value-added jewellery within 120 days, instead of previously permissible period of 180 days. Under the revised scheme, it will be mandatory for the party to have contract notarised from the foreign county’s legal authorities and duly attested by the relevant Pakistani missions abroad. Under the previous scheme, foreign buyers entrusted and sent gold to the Pakistani exporter on the basis of a plain paper contract.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Bosan, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir, Minister of State for Information Technology Ms. Anusha Rehman, Chairman Privatization Commission Zubair Umar, Chairman Board of Investment Muftah Ismail and senior officials concerned attended the meeting.