Mobile phones sets will become more expensive thanks to the federal government which has increased duty on the mobile phone imports.
To reduce the growing imports, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has imposed a regulatory duty on the import of 731 items out of which 331 were new goods and the 307 were slapped with higher duty in the 5% to 30% range.
The importers will have to pay Rs. 250 on every mobile phone worth Rs. 15,000 or above while FBR has imposed RS. 300 duty on handsets worth Rs. 6000 and above.
Pakistan imports around one million handsets every month and according to FBR, this decision will balance the gap between imports and exports.
It is pertinent to be mention here that our country doesn’t manufacture mobile phones and thus has to import them. Though the PTA has developed guidelines for granting Non-Objection certificate (NOC) for the establishment of Local Mobile Phone Assembly Line in Pakistan, it will take a very long time before we can see the development of these devices locally.
The new regulatory duties will also give way to smuggling, a menace that has already proven to be a hard thing to get rid of. People with fewer options will be forced to buy the illegally imported mobile phones which will cause a big dent in the government’s national kitty.
The current government takes pride in boasting a digital future for Pakistan but the actions say otherwise as with the massive amounts of telecom taxes and regulatory duties on mobile phones will hinder the smartphone penetration thus shattering the digitization goal for the future.