ISLAMABAD - The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday has once again imposed temporary ban of 30 days on the import of gold in a bid to ease pressure on Pakistani rupee against the US dollar.The ECC, which met under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, has decided to impose a temporary ban of 30 days on the import of gold both under SRO 760 and its commercial imports under Import Policy Order 2013.The government has slap ban on gold imports as it is striving hard to stop dollar drain out and strengthen dwindling exchange rate, sources said. “Dollar is being drained out on account of gold import and the government wants to ensure ample supplies of the green back to keep exchange rate stable,” he elaborated.
The Finance Minister said that credible reports have indicated that in the wake of steep increase in duty on import of gold in a neighbouring country has been a surge in its smuggling activity. The ECC decision will help curb smugglers activities without effecting the legitimate demand supply position of gold in the country. The exports, however, will continue without any restriction. The issue of gold smuggling and consequent pressure on open forex market were agitated by the Foreign Exchange Companies in recent meetings with the Finance Minister both in Karachi and a follow up meeting at Islamabad.The matter was accordingly placed before the ECC for its consideration. Therefore, the ECC imposed ban on import of gold for 30 days.It is worth mentioning here that government had already imposed ban on gold import on July 30 2013 for one month period. The government had 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.
The ECC meeting was attended by 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 Privatisation Commission Zubair Umar, Chairman Board of Investment Muftah Ismail and senior officials of government.