Nepal bans import of luxury items amid depleting forex reserves

Published On: April 7, 2022 06:15 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 7: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Spokesperson Gunakar Bhatta has said that the government has decided to stop the import of luxury items to prevent the decline of the foreign exchange (forex) reserves of the country.

Stating that the biggest challenge at hand is the proper management of foreign exchange reserves, he said that the government is trying to prevent further problems at the earliest by stopping the import of luxury items and remaining vigilant. 

“The import of luxury items has been stopped to prevent the decline in foreign exchange reserves due to the rising deficits and high imports,” said NRB Spokesperson Bhatta on Thursday. He also clarified that the NRB had to stop the import of some items to manage the external sector in order to prevent further challenges to the country's economy.

Bhatta also mentioned that the NRB has not stopped the import of luxury items due to an economic crisis in the country. He also said there was no need to panic as rumored regarding the problems with the economy. NRB has foreign exchange reserves to support the import of goods and services for 6.7 months, said Spokesperson Bhatta. He said the economy has shown positive signs lately.

Mentioning that many people have started leaving the country for foreign employment, Bhatta said that the flow of remittance may improve very soon.

Which items have been banned for import?

A Letter of Credit (LC) will not be open for the import of design vehicles, mopeds, bicycles and necessary motor equipment, machinery and spare parts, paddy, rice, gold, readymade garments, electrical appliances, textile products, silver and thread.

Apart from these items, the import of stone decoration materials, cement, chimney utensils, bottles, jars, silver, silver carved materials, furniture and related items, toys, sports goods and related items will also be stopped until further notice.

The NRB will also not open LC for the import of perfumes, make-up items, hair creams and shampoos, wood, charcoal and furniture, footwear and boots, braces for teeths, weaving cloths, umbrellas, walking sticks and feathers.

The imports of many items including fish, dairy products, natural honey and eggs, plants, vegetables and nuts, betel nuts, bananas and chips, chickpeas, chillies, meat, optical, medical and surgical equipment has also been stopped.


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