Local Manufacturers Push for Ban on Mobile Phone Imports

Local Manufacturers Push for Ban on Mobile Phone Imports

Pakistan’s mobile phone manufacturers have petitioned the government to ban the import of used phones.

This request was made during a meeting between industry representatives led by Aamir Allawala and Federal Commerce Minister Jam Kamal Khan. The discussion centered on the challenges faced by local phone manufacturers and potential solutions to enhance their competitive edge.

One of the primary issues raised was the current General Sales Tax (GST) structure. Manufacturers argue that the 18% value-based GST encourages the underestimation of import values, which adversely affects local businesses. To address this, they proposed implementing a fixed GST rate to create a more level playing field for domestic producers.

Automotive Industry Seeks Similar Protection

The Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), represented by Chairman Abdul Rehman Aziz, also participated in the discussions. PAAPAM called for broader regulatory duties (RD) on all used vehicle imports.

They pointed out a significant loophole in the recently enacted RD under the Finance Bill 2024-25, which only applies to used cars with engines exceeding 1300cc. The exemption of smaller, more commonly imported used cars, they argue, undermines the regulation’s intended support for domestic car assemblers.

PAAPAM’s appeal highlights the broader challenges faced by local manufacturers across different industries. They stress that comprehensive measures are necessary to protect and promote local production, ensuring the sustainability and growth of Pakistan’s manufacturing sectors.

Government’s Commitment to Local Manufacturing

Minister Khan acknowledged the concerns raised by both the mobile phone and automotive industry representatives. He pledged to collaborate with relevant ministries, including Industries & Production, Finance, and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), to address these issues.

Emphasizing the government’s commitment to fostering local manufacturing, Khan highlighted the importance of prioritizing exports to enhance economic growth.

The government’s responsiveness to these appeals could play a crucial role in shaping the future of Pakistan’s manufacturing landscape. By addressing tax and regulatory challenges, the government aims to create a more favorable environment for local industries, boosting their capacity to compete both domestically and internationally.

This move, if implemented effectively, could significantly bolster Pakistan’s economic resilience and growth prospects.