There is a vast difference between the stances of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and State Minister for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, with respect to blocking unregistered mobile phones.
According to MoITT and PTA, the deadline for registering/blocking un-registered mobile expired on January 15, 2019 while according to Azhar’s statement, it was February 15, and there is uncertainty prevailing with respect to mobile device registration as well as payment of duty.
The media reports while quoting State Minister Hammad Azhar stated that the deadline for phone registration with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had been pushed until February 15. He was quoted while addressing a ceremony related to World’s Customs Day at Wahga Border on January 26, 2019.
He said that the government is moving to make Pakistan a smuggling-free country and that after February 15, all the non-registered mobile phone will be blocked in the country.
However, Member (Compliance & Enforcement), Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar said that deadline for registering mobile devices under PTA Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS) was January 15 and not February 15.
Regarding to another question, he said that PTA’s online system for registering mobile is operational and people can register their mobile.
As per the policy, a mobile phone would not be blocked automatically for 60 days and one has to register it with PTA during this period after paying duty/taxes (in case more than one phone), he added.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications officials backed the view of PTA while saying that according to the Cabinet decision deadline for un-registered Mobile Phones was January 15 where no further extension was granted.
According to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), mobile devices which were not activated by January 15, 2019 shall be provided an option to get regularized on payment of leviable duty/taxes along with payment of 10 percent of the amount of duty/taxes involved thereon on furnishing of Certificate of Compliances ) issued by PTA.