Nepal government has decided to lift seven-month long ban on the import of luxury items.

The Cabinet meeting, on Tuesday, decided to completely lift the ban from December 16 (Mangsir 29).

With this decision, business owners can now import mobile sets worth over $300 and motorcycles over 150cc capacity.

Similarly, the ban on petroleum-based automobiles costing over $50,000 will also be lifted.

Economists have been saying import ban on the products is hurting trade and the economy and the restrictions goes against the principles of a free market economy.

However, the ban may be lifted even before the given timeline deadline in order to meet a condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The ease on ban comes after the IMF delayed the second installment of a $400 million loan to Nepal till February 2023, stating that the country had not fulfilled the conditions. Nepal has already received $110 million as the first installment.

In January, the IMF approved a $395.9 million credit facility to minimise COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on health and economic activity of Nepal. As per the agreement, the IMF will provide around $55 million in the second disbursement.

Earlier in April, the Nepal government imposed import restrictions as Nepal’s foreign currency reserve was going down on a rapid pace.