The cut in custom duty from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 650 on smartphone sets in the budget 2017-18 resulted in increased imports of cell phones to $68.57 million in July 2017 as compared to $46.204 million in July 2016. The figures comprise smartphones imported through the proper legal channels.
However, imports in July 2017 were lower by 5 percent than $72.549 million imports in June 2017.
These phones were charged sales tax at the rates of Rs. 300, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,500 per mobile phone set depending upon the phone category they belonged to. The government merged sales tax rates of Rs. 300 and Rs. 1,000 per set into Rs. 650 per set. In order to encourage use of smartphones – custom duty was reduced from Rs 1,000 to Rs.650.
According to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), mobile imports registered over 48 percent increase in July and remained at $68.57 million against $46.204 million during the same period of last year.
Overall telecom imports saw an increase of over 53 percent during July 2017 compared to the same period of last year. Total imports were recorded at $114.015 million during this period compared to $74.262 million in July 2016, while registered 10 percent growth as compared to $102.796 million during June 2017.
Other telecom apparatus imports also witnessed a growth of over 61 percent in July 2017 as it stood at $45.445 million against $28.058 million during the same period of last year. When compared to June 2017 other telecom apparatus imports registered 50 percent growth as it was $30.247 million.