Mobile phone imports sharply increase by 86 percent to Rs61 billion in four months

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan – the country endeavoring to reduce import bill to control external sector challenges – has imported mobile phones amounting Rs61 billion, during first four months (July – October) 2019/2020 which is 86 percent higher than corresponding period of last fiscal year.

The mobile phone import was Rs61 billion during first four months of current fiscal year as compared with Rs32.7 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said on Tuesday.

The unprecedented growth in mobile phone can be attributed to significant decline in rupee value during the last year.

However, in dollar terms the import remained higher by 49 percent. The country spends $388 million on import of mobile phones during July – October 2019/2020 as compared with $260.41 million in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.

Sources in Pakistan Customs said that the phenomenal increase in mobile phones was due to anti-smuggling measures taken by the government.

They said that now a mobile phone would have active network only when it was verified through a system introduced by Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA).

The sources said that mobile devices are required to verify their IMEI through phone registration system of the PTA otherwise such phones would not have connections of existing cellular networks in the country.

The source said that in the past a huge number of mobile phones were brought in the country without paying duty and taxes. But now those mobile that were not offered for registration would not be activated.

The import of mobile phone witnessed even sharp increase in October 2019 to $118.65 million as compared with $61.19 million in the same month of the last year. Similarly, in terms of rupee the import registered 132 percent to Rs18.5 billion in October 2019 as compared with Rs7.98 billion in the same month of the last year.

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