KARACHI: Pakistani nationals have spent Rs42.4 billion for import of mobile phones in three months despite challenging economic conditions.
The import of mobile phones registered 71.5 percent growth to Rs42.4 billion during first quarter (July – September) of fiscal year 2019/2020 as compared with Rs24.72 billion in the corresponding period of the last year, official statistics revealed.
It is interesting to note that the surge in import of mobile phones has been witnessed when the economy is facing challenges and imports of other things are on declining trend.
Sources in Pakistan Customs said that the substantial 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 sources further attributed the sharp increase in value to massive decline in rupee value.
In dollar term the import of mobile phones posted 35 percent increase to $269 million during first quarter of current fiscal year as compared with $199 million in the same period of the last fiscal year.
The import of mobile phones in September 2019 witnessed even more sharp increase of 69 percent in dollar term and 113 percent in Pak Rupee term.
In term of Rupees the country imported mobile phones worth Rs16.48 billion in September 2019 as compared with Rs7.73 billion in the same month of the last year.