Wednesday Jun 29, 2022
Wednesday Jun 29, 2022

Cash-strapped Nepal bans imports of cars

2022 Apr 27, 18:09, Kathmandu
A Nepalese woman talks on a cell phone as she gets currency exchanged in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 15, 2022. Foreign currency strapped Nepal announced Wednesday banning import of cars, alcohol, tobacco and is cutting down weekly working days in an apparent attempt to reduce fuel consumption. (AP Photo)

The government has decided to grant public leave for two days on Saturday and Sunday with effect from May 15. Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki informed that the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday. According to him, office hours have been set as 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

The cabinet meeting also decided to ban the import of 10 items that are less essential, luxurious and have a negative impact on health.

Nepal banned imports of cars, alcohol, tobacco and other luxury items Wednesday and shortened its work week to help conserve its dwindling supply of foreign exchange.

A notice published in the government gazette said only emergency vehicles can be imported. No imports of any type of alcohol or tobacco products, large-engine motorcycles and mobile phones costing over $600 dollars will be allowed.

The ban, in effect until the end of the fiscal year in mid-July, also forbids imports of toys, playing cards and diamonds.

Without such drastic measures, the foreign currency reserves needed to import almost everything will last only a few more months, officials said.

Nepal’s main sources of foreign currency are tourism, remittances from overseas workers and foreign aid.

Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists usually visit the Himalayan country every year, but the number of visitors plunged during the pandemic.


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