Nepal partially lifts luxury import ban; cars, bikes, phones and liquors are still on the red list

Due to liquidity crunch, Nepal Rastra Bank is trying to curb down imports.
File: Due to a liquidity crunch, Nepal Rastra Bank is trying to curb down imports.

Kathmandu, August 31

The government has partially lifted the ban on luxury imports by removing six of the 10 items from the list.

Yet, the ban on the import of four luxury items has been extended until October 14. These are the following four items that are still on the prohibited list:

  1. Liquor
  2. Mobile phones priced above USD 300
  3. SUVs, cars and vans (except ambulances and hearses)
  4. Motorcycles above 150 CC

The cabinet meeting on Monday made the decision as per the recommendation of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.

In April, the government announced the ban on luxury imports considering the shrinking foreign exchange reserves of the country. Initially, the government had announced the ban would continue until the end of the fiscal year (mid-July). But, in mid-July, it was extended up to the August end.

Then, the government further tightened the limits allowed for motorbikes and mobile phones, which still exist.

However, the ban on the import of these six items has been lifted to be effective from today:

  1. Chips and similar snacks
  2. Cigarettes and tobacco products (except raw)
  3. Diamond (except raw)
  4. Colour TV above 32”
  5. Toys
  6. Playing cards

Considering the onset of the festive season, business groups were piling pressure on the government to lift the luxury import ban. However, the government took a middle-path approach by partially removing the ban.

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