Federal Government Imposes Import Duty on Mobile Phones
The federal government has announced an increase in the regulatory duty on importing mobile phone sets. According to experts, this may discourage digitization and encourage the smuggling of mobile phones.
The move came from the FBR as an effort to curtail growing imports. The imposed regulatory duty is on 731 import items out of which 331 were new goods while 307 were subject to a higher duty in the range of 5% to 30%.
FBR has imposed a duty of Rs 250 on smartphones priced Rs 15,000 or above, whereas Rs. 300 for handsets ranging Rs. 6,000 and above. The reasoning that comes with this is balancing of the ever-increasing gap between imports and exports. Currently, the monthly import rate for mobile handsets is one million mobile devices.
According to Express Tribune, industry experts have said that imposing duty on mobile phone sets will hurt the information technology sector at large. At the same time, this will also encourage smuggling of handsets as the incentive for illicit trade will be increased with the levy.
ICT Expert and Consultant, Parvez Iftikhar, while speaking to the Express Tribune said:
“Since high duties on any industry become an incentive for smuggling, this leads to low chances that higher duty on mobile phones will increase government revenues”
Taking a look at the local telecom landscape one has to consider the cost and damage that this brings on to the telecom providers. Telecom companies have paid up for the use of 3G/4G license, their taxes and fee, but a move like this comes in the way of digitization or mass spread of smartphones for the use of telecom services.
Source: Express Tribune