Miftah says import ban does not extend to industrial raw material | The Express Tribune

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday stated that the government has not issued a ban on any industrial raw material; the ban only extends to luxury and non-essential goods.

The finance minister took to his official Twitter account to clarify claims made by a citizen that the import bans include raw materials used to make sanitary pads.

“One of the two companies producing these pads (that account for 84% of sanitary napkins produced locally) has warned they may eventually have to shut down without the raw materials needed to make the pads,” wrote the social media user.

In a series of sub-tweets, the citizen voiced concern over the danger to women’s reproductive healthcare.

“I don’t know if @PMLNHealthCare and @MaryamNSharif realise this, but the majority of girls/women in this country use pads. One of the 2 biggest suppliers of pads in this country shutting down will be a healthcare AND economic crisis,” she wrote adding that women resorting to the use of rags is unsafe, unsanitary and keeps women at home.

Read FBR takes notice of seizing ‘luxury items’ from travellers at airports

Taking notice of the issue, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Member of the National Assembly, responded to the claims, “Hey! I’m looking into this.”

The MNA allegedly took the matter up with  finance minister who clarified that there was no ban on imports of raw materials. The minister furthered, “there is certainly no ban on sanitary pads or diapers (or their raw materials), which are obviously essential goods.”

The minister stated that the government will issue further clarification on the import ban, which has been subject to controversy.

On May 18, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave the go-ahead to a temporary ban on the imports of around three-dozen goods — essential and luxury items — but refused to slap regulatory duties to curb imports.

As a result, representatives of the different importers, distributors and retailer organisations expressed concern over the ban on imports and called on the government to introduce a fuel management plan, which can save $240 million per annum.

The ban also prompted protests from pet owners, retailers, veterinarians and importers against the ban on import of pet food, and asked the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the situation.

Subsequently, on Saturday the federal government revoked the import ban on certain items including pet food and energy savers, the Ministry of Commerce said.

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