ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Tuesday at the Prime Minister Office announced a ban on the import of gold for a month.
In a meeting presided by the federal finance minister Ishaq Dar, the economic decision-making body said that the import of duty-free gold is being banned temporarily.
The move will affect certain schemes put in place by the government whereby exporters of value added gold jewellery could import gold without paying any duty on the condition that it would then be re-exported.
However, amidst reports of the duty-free gold being smuggled to India the government has decided to impose a temporary ban to re-examine the operation of the schemes, ECC said.
The Committee said that in recent months the import of gold in Pakistan had seen an enormous surge which was abnormal.
During January to June 2013, Rs92.070 billion worth of gold was imported as compared to the Rs19.132billion worth of imports for the same period in 2012.
Indian press reports had also indicated that the instances of smuggled gold being caught had increased by 365% in April-June 2013 as compared to the same period last year.
Export of livestock banned
The ECC also imposed a ban on the export of live animals in order to encourage the export of processed meat.
The committee also decided that it would export 30,000 tons of wheat to Iran, in exchange of which Iran would provide electricity.
Earlier, it was reported by Radio Pakistan that the ECC had also approved the import of 30,000 tons of sugar from Iran.