KARACHI: Pakistan has imported mobile phones worth $363 million during first half (July – December) of fiscal year 2022-2023 despite fact of worth foreign exchange crisis in the country.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the import of mobile phones was $366 million during first half of the current fiscal year as compared with $1.09 billion in the corresponding half of the previous fiscal year.
Although the import of the mobile phone recorded 67 per cent decline during the period under review. But it is interestingly to note that during the said period the government had imposed ban and certain restrictions on imports.
The government in May 2022 imposed ban on import of luxurious and non-essential items, which also included the mobile phones in Completely Built Unit (CBU).
Imposition of ban was aimed at preventing outflow of dollars because the country was facing a continuous depletion of foreign exchange reserves and local currency was under severe pressure.
However, this ban was lifted on August 20, 2020 despite the fact that foreign exchange reserves of the country fell drastically and the exchange rate also witnessed massive decline in rupee value against the dollar.
Apart from the import ban, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also put restrictions on opening of LCs above certain threshold, which is still applicable.
The import of mobile phone in terms of Pakistani Rupee (PKR) recorded a decline of 56 per cent to Rs81 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year as compared with Rs185 billion in the same half of the last fiscal year.
Interestingly, the import of mobile phones recorded an increase of 12 per cent to $72.29 million in December 2022 when compared with $64.52 million. However, it fell by 69 per cent when compared with $234 million in the month of December 2021.