Mobile phones import witnessed a phenomenal growth of 39.57 percent in the current fiscal year (July-August) 2017-18 as it remained $129.392 million compared to $92.707 million during the same period of 2016-17 (July-August).
Analysts are attributing this growth to the cut in custom duty from Rs1, 000 to Rs.650 on smart / Android phones set in the budget 2017-18 as well as to high penetration of 3G/4G.
Mobile phones were chargeable to sales tax at the rates of Rs. 300, Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,500 per mobile phone set depending upon the categories of mobile phones. The government merged sales tax rates of Rs. 300 and Rs. 1,000 per set into Rs. 650 per set. In order to encourage the use of smart / Android phones – customs duty was reduced from Rs 1,000 to Rs.650.
Mobile phone imports in August 2017 were lower by 11 percent (given that they totaled $60.822 million) than the $68.57 million imports in July 2017. But it was high by 30.79 percent compared to $46.503 million in August 2016, revealed the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Overall telecom imports saw an increase of over 35 percent during July-August 2017 compared to the same period last year. Total imports were recorded at $230.92 million during this period compared to $170.667 million in July-August 2016, while registered 21 percent growth as compared to $114.015 million during July 2017.
Import of other telecom apparatus also witnessed growth of over 30.23 percent in July-August 2017 as it stood at $101.528 million against $77.96 million during the same period last year. When compared to July 2017, the imports of other telecom apparatus registered 12 percent growth as it was $45.445 million compared to 56.083 million in August 2017.