Mobile Phone companies are considering giving mobile handsets with SIMs on an easy payment schedule to customers, said Chairman PTA Maj. Gen. (Retd) Amir Azeem Bajwa.
Mobile Phone Companies To Give Phones With SIMs- Chairman PTA
This he stated while briefing the Senate Standing committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, which met with Rubina Khalid in the chair here on Wednesday. Bajwa said that mobile phone companies are considering giving handsets with SIMs to customers (where SIMs of other operators could not be used) on easy installments but fear recovery.
The committee appreciated the idea while observing that it would be helpful in reducing mobile phone smuggling while is already applicable in other countries. He further said that PTA has adopted a two-step authentication process which would help in overcoming mobile registration through illegal ways.
Chairman PTA said that government has reduced taxes on mobile phones imports and still considering a further reduction in it. PTA supports a reduction in taxes on mobile import to make it more affordable and remove attraction in illegal mobile imports.
Director Cyber Wing of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Afzal Mehmood Butt said that the data of 47017 international travelers were misused for registration of mobile phones through Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).
He further said 15 complaints were received regarding illegal registration of mobile devices and 10 persons including three FIA officials were arrested. During investigation, it was revealed that some computer operators charged Rs 80 for leaking passengers’ data and the persons behind the scene and man culprit took benefits of up to Rs 25000 per person data.
The committee observed that bringing mobile phones has become a cumbersome task for international travelers. DIRBS was introduced for security reasons as well overcoming the menace of smuggling, but the issues still continued, said Rubina Khalid.
Rehman Malik said that 80 percent of mobile phones in the market are with replicated IMEIs, which is a matter of great concern.
FBR official revealed that government has withdrawn the facility of one duty-free mobile import for international travelers from July 1, under the Finance Bill 2019-20 and one has to pay taxes even if brings a single mobile phone.
Chairman PTA informed the committee that the Authority can trace and identify with 100 percent accuracy, the data who leaks, place and where it uses. He further said that PTA has reported over 45000 cases of data theft to FIA so far for further action. Bajwa claimed that the trend of data theft has witnessed a reduction.
Further, he said the legal commercial import of mobile phones increased substantially after the implementation of DIRBS, as 45 million mobile phones were imported during the last six months which is almost doubled compared to the same period of last year.
FBR officials said that the government has collected Rs 150 million on 75000 mobile phones so far under the DIRBS implementation. The committee was further informed that the government has prepared the different slab for tax collection on mobile handsets and the highest amount is Rs 31000 applicable on mobile handsets of value or above $500.