Mobile phones import witnessed a phenomenal growth of 19.44 percent in the fiscal year 2017-18 as it remained $847.654 million compared to $709.690 million during the same period of 2016-17.
Mobile phone imports in June 2018 which is $87.717 million were increased by 20.91 percent than $72.55 million imports in June 2017, and increased by 7.81 percent compared to $81.362 million in May 2018, revealed the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Overall telecom imports saw increase of over 13.48 percent during fiscal year 2017-18 compared to the same period of last year. Total imports were recorded at $1.534 billion during this period compared to $1.351 billion in 2016-17. Telecom import remained $127.908 million in June 2018 and registered 34.15 percent growths, as compared to $ 102.798 million during June 2017.
Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed growth of over 6.9 percent in 2017-18 as it stood at $686.432 million against $642.119 million during the same period of last year.
The care-taker government had initially worked on policy guidelines to reduce import bill by rationalizing import of mobile phone handsets and other telecom apparatus. However, with remaining little time in the office, the government is unlikely to come up with any policy in this regard, sources added.
Pakistan’s trade deficit touched all-time high of $37.67 billion in the fiscal year 2017-18, up by 15.95 percent over $32.488 billion for the last fiscal year.
The government remained unable to achieve $25.7 billion exports target set for the last fiscal year as $23.228 billion total exports against a whooping $60.898 imports pronounced the trade deficit to all time high.
To curtail growing imports and generate additional revenue, the federal government had announced a new kind of levy of up to Rs5000 on importing mobile phone handsets in the budget for 2018-19.