Nepal bans import of luxury items amid depletion of foreign exchange reserves – myRepublica

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

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

“Import of luxury items has been halted to prevent decline in foreign exchange reserves due to rising deficits and high imports,” NRB spokesman Bhatta said on Thursday. He also clarified that the NRB should stop importing certain items to manage the external sector to avoid further challenges to the country’s economy.

Bhatta also mentioned that the NRB has not stopped importing luxury items due to an economic crisis in the country. He also said there was no need to panic as the economic troubles claimed. NRB has foreign exchange reserves to support the import of goods and services for 6.7 months, spokesman Bhatta said. He said the economy has been showing positive signs lately.

Mentioning that many people have started leaving the country to work abroad, Bhatta said the flow of remittances may improve very soon.

What items have been banned from importation?

A Letter of Credit (LC) will not be opened for the import of design vehicles, mopeds, bicycles and necessary automotive equipment, machinery and spare parts, paddy, rice, gold, ready-made clothes, electrical appliances, textile products, money and thread.

Besides these items, the import of decorative stone materials, cement, fireplace utensils, bottles, pots, silverware, silver carved materials, furniture and related items, toys, sporting goods and related items will also be discontinued until further notice.

The NRB will also not open LCs for the import of perfumes, makeup items, hair creams and shampoos, wood, charcoal and furniture, shoes and boots, dental appliances , weaving fabrics, umbrellas, walking sticks and feathers.

Imports of many items, including fish, dairy products, natural honey and eggs, plants, vegetables and nuts, betel nuts, bananas and crisps, chickpeas, chillies, meat, optical, medical and surgical equipment, were also stopped.