Mobile phones import witnessed a decline of 7.11 percent in the first seven months (July-Jan) of 2018-19 as it remained $423.818 million compared to $456.254 million during the same period last year. Mobile phone imports in January 2018, which stood at $59.77 million, registered 25.06 percent negative growth as compared to $79.759 million imports in January 2017.
Last month’s figure was higher by 0.63 percent when compared to $59.396 million in December 2018. These figures were revealed in the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Mobile and Telecom Imports Decline in First Seven Months of FY 2018-19 by 7% and 10.58% Respectively
Overall telecom imports saw a decline of 10.58 percent during July-January (2018-19) when compared to the same period of last year. Total imports were recorded at $783.45 million during this period when compared to $876.124 million in July-January (2017-18), while registering a 4.35 percent negative growth in January 2019. This figure stood at $127.524 million in January 2019 as compared to $110.006 million during December 2018.
Other telecom apparatus imports witnessed a phenomenal decline of over 14.35 percent in July-January (2018-19) as it stood at $359.632 million against $419.87 million during the same period of last year. When compared to December 2018, other telecom apparatus imports registered 26.49 percent growth in January as it was $67.753 million compared to $50.610 million in December 2018.
However, according to market sources, mobile phones in a huge quantity worth millions of dollars are being smuggled to the country, evading duties and taxes, which results in huge loss to the national exchequer.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has estimated to increase revenue from the import of mobile devices by around $200 million annually after the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) implementation.
The DIRBS implementation is expected to generate additional revenue, besides helping in reducing security challenges. To curtail the counterfeit mobile phone usage, discourage mobile phones theft and protect consumer interest and in line with Telecom policy 2015, issued by Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, PTA has developed/established DIRBS at PTA premises.
The system will contribute towards improved law and order within the country by negating the narrative of mobile snatching and stealing. It will also improve the quality of service of cellular mobile operators as well as discourage the counterfeit devices, fake IMEIs and duplicate IMEIs on the mobile network.