Cash-strapped Nepal prohibits Imports of automobiles

28 April, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

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Cash-strapped Nepal prohibits Imports of automobiles

Nepal prohibited the import of vehicles, alcohol, cigarettes, and other luxury commodities on Wednesday and cut its workweek in half to help conserve its foreign exchange reserves.

Nepal prohibited the import of vehicles, alcohol, cigarettes, and other luxury commodities on Wednesday and cut its workweek in half to help conserve its foreign exchange reserves.

Only emergency vehicles can be imported, according to a notice issued in the official gazette. Imports of any kind of alcohol or tobacco products, as well as large-engine motorcycles and cellphones costing more than $600, will be prohibited.

Toys, playing cards, and diamonds are also prohibited under the prohibition, which will last until the end of the fiscal year in mid-July.

Officials say that without such dramatic steps, the foreign currency reserves required to import practically everything will only last a few more months.

Tourism, remittances from abroad employees, and international aid are Nepal’s key sources of foreign money.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of international tourists visit the Himalayan country, but the number of visitors dropped dramatically during the coronavirus outbreak.

The burden on Nepal’s foreign reserves has increased as oil prices have risen. As a result, Information Minister Gyanendra Karki said on Wednesday that the government would decrease the work week from five to five days in order to save gasoline.

However, he claims that the situation is now subsiding as visitors return and more Nepalese go abroad to work, sending their earnings home.