Prices of mobile chargers and batteries have gone up after an increase of 15 cents in import duty on chargers and 32 cents on batteries, hurting small dealers some of whom have closed their shops.
The Federal Board of Revenue increased import duty on these two mobile accessories following cases of heavy under-invoicing by importers in the purchase of Chinese mobile chargers and batteries.
According to new import duty rates, the FBR will collect 25 cents on mobile chargers, up from 10 cents and 40 cents on mobile batteries, up from 8 cents.
It is learnt that the Customs Department had earlier prepared a report which pointed to huge under-invoicing in the import of Chinese mobile batteries and chargers. For that, the department collected information about prices from China and the importers which showed a huge difference.
In light of the findings of the report, the Customs management invited the importers of mobile accessories to explain their point of view. The department also wanted to negotiate with the importers on import duty. However, none of the importers responded to the Customs’ call.
Resultantly, in consultation with senior Customs officials, minimum price of unbranded Chinese mobile batteries was fixed at $0.40 (around Rs34). Similarly, minimum import price of unbranded Chinese mobile chargers was fixed at $0.25 (around Rs21.25).
The price of Chinese mobile batteries has risen from Rs100 to Rs130 and that of chargers from Rs50 to Rs80 at the Hall Road and Hafeez Centre, the two famous markets of mobile and electronics goods in Lahore.
Anjuman-e-Tajiran Hall Road President Baber Mehmood said the government had increased the duty on imported mobile batteries and chargers without consulting the importers and traders. He claimed that millions of rupees worth of imported consignments were lying at the dry port as the importers were unable to pay high duty.
On a visit to the Hall Road and Hafeez Centre, The News found that roadside dealers and small stallholders, who sold imported Chinese items, had closed their business after the imposition of high duty.
Traders said the small stallholders and vendors had switched to selling mobile pouches and stickers. They were of the view that the government must reconsider the increase in customs duty on imported Chinese mobile accessories as a large number of poor people were deprived of their source of earning.
Via The News