As it was anticipated long before, Mobile Phone and other telecom equipment imports declined notably in first half of current financial year. Reportedly, Mobile phone imports declined by 239 million dollars during July-December 2008 due to plenty of reasons, including imposition of taxes in budget(which was as high as Rs. 750 per handset), hiked inflation and overall economic downfall.
In the same manner, overall telecom imports have decelerated by $250m, which clearly shows the sluggishness of foreign direct investment coming into the country from telecom investors. According to FBS data on foreign trade for July-December 2008, country spent US 480 million dollars on the import of mobile handsets in the first six months of current fiscal against US 719 million dollars during same time period last year.
The FBS figure further indicates that total imports in the telecom sector remained US 115 million in July-Dec as compared to US 365 million dollars during the same period previous year.
Another reason for decline in mobile phone imports can be huge amount of handset in-flow in previous two years, which saturated the market. Along with, we also know that mobile manufacturers showcased slowness in introducing new handsets, which was another factor involved in slow imports.