Pakistan has become the large mobile phone users as through this industry the human capital is very high and also the job market is rich as against to the main ranked developing states according to researchers. The country has also become charming industry for mobile phone distributors as well as manufacturers.
Presently PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) has predicted to raise revenue from the import of mobile devices by almost $200 million yearly after DIRBS (Device Identification Registration and Blocking System) implementation. The DIRBS implementation is also predicted to generate extra revenue, besides assisting in reducing security issues. Different sources also recorded that to curtail the counterfeit mobile phone usage, protect consumer interest, discourage mobile phones theft and in line with Telecom Policy 2015, issued by Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, PTA has organized DIRBS at PTA premises.
The industry officials also mentioned that the system would contribute towards enhanced law and order within Pakistan through negating the narrative of mobile snatching and stealing. It will also enhance the quality of service of cellular mobile operators also discourage the counterfeit devices, fake IMEIs and duplicate IMEIs on the mobile network.
Statistics also showed that mobile phone imports recorded a fall of 9.11 percent in the first eight months (July-February) of FY2019 as it remained $478.137 million as against to $526.033 million during the corresponding period last year. During February 2019, mobile phone imports stood at $54.320 million, recorded 22.15 percent pessimistic growth as against to $69.779 million imports during the corresponding period previous year. The government officials also registered that last month’s figure was -9.12 percent when as against to $59.771 million during January this year. The officials also recorded that overall telecom imports saw a fall of 9.91 percent during July-February (2018-19) when as against to the corresponding period of previous year. Total imports were registered at $904.016 million during this period when compared to $1.003 billion during July-February (2017-18), while recording a 5.46 percent pessimistic growth during February 2019.
This statistics stood at $120.565 million during February 2019 as against to $127.524 million in January this year. Other telecom apparatus imports recorded a phenomenal fall of over 10.81 percent in July-February (2018-19) as it stood at $425.879 million as against to $477.477 million during the corresponding period of previous year. When compared to January 2019, the statistics showed that other telecom apparatus imports recorded 2.23 percent pessimistic growth during February as it was $66.245 million as against to $67.753 million during January 2019.
Present statistics also recorded that Pakistan’s legal import value of mobile phones stood $847.656 million in earlier-2017-18, when there was no duty under a free trade agreement with China, or a very negligible duty applicable from other states, the imports had crossed the $1 billion mark. Sources also mentioned that the government of Pakistan presently revised the duty structure and implemented regulatory duty on import of mobile phones, which resulted in a drop in the legal import with a subsequent increase in their smuggling.
The regulatory duty had been introduced on luxury products a few years ago to sustain the stability of the current account condition, and competitiveness of the local manufacturers. The present government also has launched regulatory duty in flat rates for 6.0 different slabs according to import value of mobile phones in a move to lower tax on ordinary sets as against to those having higher prices.
Statistics also showed that the regulatory duty on import of mobile phones valuing up to $30 would now be charged at a flat rate of Rs180 per set as compared to the earlier Rs250, while it will be charged at the rate of Rs18,500 on import of mobile phones valuing greater than $500 per set. Formerly, the regulatory duty on import of mobile phones valuing up to $60 was Rs250 per set, while it was 10 percent and 20 percent of the import value for those with a price ranging between $60 and $130 and those valuing more than $130, respectively.
Statistics further showed that mobile phones having an import value between $30 and $100 would be charged at the rate of Rs1,800 per set, while the regulatory duty on import of sets valuing between $100 and $200 would be Rs2,700. The import value of mobile phone less than $350 per set but greater than $200 will attract Rs3,600 regulatory duty per set. If import value of a mobile phone ranges between $350 and $500, the duty will be charged at a flat rate of Rs10,500, while the regulatory duty will be Rs18,500 per set if a mobile phone has import value of greater than $500.
No doubt, it is the vital responsibility of the Government of Pakistan to offer relief to the citizens at their doorstep and make sure that their grievances be addressed comprehensively. Currently, the government of Sindh inaugurated the Governor’s Complaint Cell at the Governor House where public can lodge their complaints. It is expected that the Governor of Sindh will personally monitor the complaints received at the Governor’s Complaint Cell to ensure that the challenges got proper response from relevant institutions or departments. The governor also instructed all the provincial departments to completely cooperate with the cell and ensure prompt reply of any query or complaint forwarded to them so that needless hassle to the masses could be prevented.