Mobile phone imports in Pakistan have increased by 7.9 percent during the first half (July-December) of the current financial year (2015-16) as compared to the same period of previous year.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), total imports of mobile phone stood at $375.063 million while they were $347.564 million in the same period last year.
Overall telecom imports saw significant decline of 7.43 percent during July- December 2015-16 compared to the same period in the last year. Total imports were recorded at $695.334 million compared to $751.124 million in the same period in the last year.
Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed significant decline of 20.64 percent during this period as it stood at $320.271 million during July-December (2015-16) against $403.56 million during the same period of last year.
Sri Lanka is no 1 while Pakistan is at no 4 amongst the cheapest countries with respect to call rates, according to the World Bank. The internet remains unavailable, inaccessible, and unaffordable to a majority of the world’s population including Pakistan where 165 million population remains offline. However it is important to note that there are still heavy taxations and other regulations with respect to telecom sector.
The government has announced telecom policy; however no relief in respect to taxation and duties on import of mobile phones and other telecom apparatus was announced. The government needs to review its policies with respect to the telecom sector that the facilities and connectivity coverage may be expanded to under-serve and un-served areas of the country.