The government is likely to announce a new incentive for overseas Pakistanis for using their imported mobile phones in Pakistan.
Highly-placed officials told Propakistani that an important meeting has been held at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Headquarters in the recent past. The meeting mainly focused on facilitating the overseas Pakistanis through a more liberal policy on the use of mobile phones in Pakistan.
In this meeting, the FBR, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have finalized a new integrated system for the overseas. The new system would allow the overseas Pakistanis to use their imported mobile phones for 120 days’.
The new system will be able to exchange immigration data among the PTA, FIA, and FBR. The new system would be connected with the FIA’s record of entry and exit of passengers.
Presently, 60 days period is available to overseas Pakistanis to use the imported phone with one SIM. After 60 days, the phone is not operational unless he pays the due amount of taxes for the regularization of the said device.
The immigration staff would enter the data of incoming passengers including overseas Pakistanis and foreigners and the passengers can avail the facility of registration and subsequently using the phones for 120 days period. If the overseas Pakistani come repeatedly to Pakistan, he can use the same phone/SIM number through reactivation with the help of immigration data.
The FIA will verify that the passenger has entered Pakistan and his phone would be activated through data integration.
Under the new system, the overseas Pakistanis would register one number on their mobile phone. The foreigner can also register their phone through their passport numbers linked with the FIA data. Each person can register one number and his SIM would be linked with this system. Every time he comes to Pakistan, he can use the same phone and reactivate the same number with the help of the entry/exit data of the immigration staff for a period of 120 days.
However, if the overseas Pakistanis or foreigners would leave the country before 120 days, the immigration system would automatically enter the data of the outgoing passenger at the time of exit and their phone would become disabled.
The system is linked with immigration and as soon as he leaves the country, his phone would automatically be blocked. The re-activation of the phone would be linked with the flight data of immigration that he has again arrived in the country.
Presently, the validity regarding the functionality of the device is 60 days starting from the day the SIM is inserted. The device will receive signals for the first 60 days and the overseas Pakistani can use it without paying tax or registering it. After 60 days, it will not receive any services. However, if overseas Pakistani plan to visit Pakistan again with the same mobile, its 60 days period will not be renewed.
The applicant must apply for ‘temporary registration’ by entering their credentials and device IMEIs via PTA’s Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS). PTA will connect this system with FIA’s Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) for passport number validation as well as with mobile operators for validation of mobile number SIM belonging to the applicant.
As per FBR policy, there is no discount on device registration within 60 days. However, an applicant who wants to register a device after 60 days of traveling into Pakistan or is a local applicant and wants to register a device with CNIC will have to pay additional tax/duty.