Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Import Licensing and Import Liberalization in Pakistan

Import policy has played a particularly important role in Pakistan’s economic planning. The amount and allocation of imported machinery and raw materials have directly affected the nature and pace of both industrial and agricultural development. The composition of imports has had a very significant effect on internal relative prices, which, in turn, essentially determine the allocation of investment in the private sector. Finally, imports have provided both the government (in the form of tariffs) and the private sector (in the form of profits) access to potential savings, which to a large extent have been converted into investment during the last decade. While import policy should not be viewed completely in isolation, it is sufficiently important to merit careful and intensive study. Over the past several years, substantial research has been carried out on two aspects of Pakistan’s import policy: the description and analysis of the institu¬tional arrangements; and the development of reasonably accurate statistics. In terms of institutional arrangements, three contributions are especially worthy of mention. Naqvi [22] has presented a detailed description of the import licensing system, indicating the agencies involved and the major problems faced by them,

Philip S. Thomas

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