The government has extended its ongoing import ban on ten different goods until August 30, 2022. Citing dwindling foreign reserves, the government had imposed an import ban on ten different goods on 26th April, 2022 until the end of the fiscal year, which has been extended to August 30, 2022 – with slight modifications.
The government has banned/restricted the import of following goods:
- All kinds of ready-made liquor except raw materials.
- Vehicles (jeeps, cars and vans except ambulances and hearses)
- Motorcycles with a capacity of over 150CC. Earlier, the government had banned the import of motorcycles with a capacity of more than 250 CC, which has been revised to above 150 CC in the latest notice.
- Import of diamonds except industrial raw materials.
- Smart phones and mobiles priced above USD 300. Earlier, import of mobile phones above USD 600 were banned, which has now been revised to USD 300.
- Televisions above 32 inches in size.
- Cigarettes and tobacco products except industrial raw materials.
- Playing cards
- Lays, Kurkure, Kurmure, and other snacks.
The government has decided to continue the ban on the import of 10 different types of goods to Nepal citing the country’s increased trade deficit and dwindling foreign reserves. As per the Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepal’s foreign exchange reserves has sunk by 19.6 percent to 9.45 billion in mid-June 2022 from 11.75 billion in mid-July 2021.
Meanwhile with increasing inflation, Nepal’s economic condition also continues to be affected. As per the same report, “The y-o-y consumer price inflation stood at 8.56 percent in the eleventh month of FY 2021/22 compared to 4.19 percent a year ago. Food and beverage inflation stood at 7.43 percent whereas non-food and service inflation stood at 9.44 percent in the review month. The average monthly y-o-y inflation for 11 months was 6.09 percent.”
Trading organisations, and a few economists have criticised the extension on the ban as a regressive tool – citing the ban will affect holiday spending, and hurt Nepal’s economy further, especially as the festive season arrives.