EghtesadOnline: A member of the Majlis Industries Commission says that the recently-imposed ban on car imports is not permanent and will end in the coming months.
Saeed Bastani said the introduction of the ban on auto imports was an emergency measure aimed at saving foreign currency reserves. “The ban will be lifted by the end of the current fiscal in March 2019.”
“The commission is currently working on a bill aimed at managing auto imports,” the news website Asb-e Bokhar quoted Bastani as saying.
Despite Bastani's comments, business insiders are of the opinion that even if the prohibition is eased, car importers will face other hurdles since the economic problems that forced the government to ban auto imports have not been resolved, according to Financial Tribune.
Following US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May, the government started taking measures to deal with the looming sanctions, one of which was prohibiting car imports in anticipation of the dwindling currency reserves and earmarking foreign currency for basic not luxury goods.
The administration in summer prohibited imports of 1,339 items, including cars, categorized as non-essential goods with equivalents made inside the country.
In addition to cars, the import of ambulances, tractors, refrigerators and freezers, powdered milk, stoves, ovens, tea and coffeemakers, cameras, tissue paper, cosmetics, clothes and underclothes, and musical instruments have also been banned.
However, according to a report in the economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, the goods included in the list accounted for less than 8% or $4.04 billion of Iran's total imports in the last fiscal (March 2017-18). This means that even if the government is successful in achieving its declared goal, the foreign currency saved through such import bans would at best be insignificant.