ISLAMABAD - The federal government has increased the regulatory duties (RDs) on hundreds of imported commodities up to 100 percent in order to control the soaring import bill of the country.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued the notification on Tuesday regarding increasing RDs on imported commodities. The federal cabinet has approved to enhance duties through the circulation of the summary, showing that the duty was in fact imposed in the range of 10 percent to 100 percent. Last week, the federal government had decided to withdraw ban on the import of luxury items and imposing heavy duties to discourage imports. The government has imposed 10 percent RD on the import of meat of bovine animals, meat of swine, and meat of sheep or goat. Meanwhile, it would be 15 percent in case of boneless meat. The government has also imposed 35 percent RD on import of flour, meals and pellets of fish, 74 percent duty on coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashew nuts and 20 percent on seed. It has also enhanced the duties on the import of chocolates, cocoa powder, jams, fruit jellies, marmalades and others.

Last week, government had decided to withdraw ban on import of luxury items and imposing heavy duties to discourage imports

It has also increased the RD to 74 percent on the import of bananas, including plantains. The government has also enhanced RDs on the import of other fruits including citrus, grapes, melons including watermelons, apples, pears and quinces, apricots, cherries, peaches and others. According to the notification, the government has also increased RD on baths, shower baths, sinks, wash-basin and others. It has enhanced the duties on the imports of tableware, kitchenware, doors, windows, and ornamental articles of plastics. The government has increased the RD up to 100 percent on the import of different vehicles.

It is worth mentioning here that the government had decided to withdraw the ban on the import of non-essential commodities to comply with the directions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and under the agreement with World Trade Organization (WTO). However, it had decided that regulatory duties on luxury items would be enhanced three times or to maximum possible level and can go even up to 400 to 600 percent or more to discourage the imports of the luxury items. The heavy duties would be imposed on completely built-up (CBU) commodities — automobiles, mobile phones, and electronic appliances — and apart from them, the imported fish, meat, purse, and other such non-luxury items.