Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday slapped a ban on the import of gold for one month. Well informed sources told Business Recorder that the Cabinet Division sent the meeting notice to the Ministers and Secretaries of different Ministries, but did not disclose the agenda of the meeting.
Cabinet Division, in its meeting notice, stated that the agenda of the meeting will follow, but ECC members were not provided with the agenda. However, the summary was circulated during the meeting which started soon after the Cabinet meeting.
An official statement said that the ECC in its meeting held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister”s Office wherein it was 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 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 there 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 official statement added.
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 at a follow-up meeting at Islamabad. The matter was accordingly placed before the ECC for its consideration.
The 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 Anusha Rehman, Chairman Privatisation Commission Zubair Umar, Chairman Board of Investment Miftah Ismail and senior officials of government.