Dollar-starved Pakistan imports 2,200 luxury vehicles.

ISLAMABAD -- The government has allowed the import of 2,200 luxury vehicles in the first six months of the current fiscal year while the country was crippled with strict foreign exchange control even for imports of essential consumer items and industrial goods.

As a result of the strict foreign exchange control, the piling of containers containing different consumer and industrial products reaches almost 8,500 in the first half of this year at ports across the country, an official source told Dawn on Monday. Contrary to this, the traders put the stuck-up containers figure at 5,500.

As per customs data, over 95 per cent of 8,500 containers are held up at ports due to the non-opening of letters of credit (LCs).

These containers carry consumer goods, industrial goods, pharmaceuticals and perishable products, while imports of used luxury cars are swiftly clearing at ports.

Data showed that in the first six months, the import of new cars stood at 193 vehicles. Of these only 25 vehicles falls within the category of 1,000-1,800cc while four vehicles above 1,800cc during the period under review.

The bulk of 164 luxury electric vehicles was imported between July and December 2022. The only benefit that Pakistan has from the import of these vehicles is in the shape of duty and taxes which was nearly Rs2 billion. However, the country spent hundreds of billions of rupees on the import of these vehicles.

The real jump was seen in the import of three years old luxury vehicles in...

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