Local manufacturing plants in Pakistan manufactured/assembled 15.66 million mobile handsets during the first ten months (January-October) of 2023 compared to 1.28 million imported commercially.
The local manufacturing plants manufactured/assembled 2.64 million mobile handsets during October 2023 compared to 0.19 million imported commercially.
The locally manufactured/ assembled 15.66 million mobile phones handsets included 10.25 million 2G and 5.41 million smartphones. Besides, as per the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data, 58 percent of mobile devices are smartphones, and 42 percent are 2G on the Pakistan network.
Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturers Association (PMPMA) vice-chairman Amir Allahwala told ProPakistani that the share of imported mobile phones is now touching 10 percent.
He further said that the gap between taxes on CBU and taxes on CKD imports is narrowing. The Regulatory Duty on CBU mobile phones is fixed in Pakistani Rupees. As the Rupee has depreciated significantly from Rs. 180 to Rs. 285 per USD, the amount of Regulatory Duty has become smaller as a percentage of total value. This means that gap in taxes between CBU and CKD imports has gone down significantly making it attractive to import CBU mobile phones
The trend of CBU imports is on the rise. It impacts the 40,000 jobs created by 31 mobile phone manufacturers in Pakistan after launch of mobile device manufacturing policy.
The government must revise the CBU Regulatory Duty upwards at the soonest possible to avoid any further damage to domestic industry, which is now focusing on localization and exports, Allahwala added.
The country imported mobile phones worth $469.992 million during the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year 2023-24, registering a growth of 107.91 percent when compared to $226.051 million during the same period of last year.
Pakistan’s mobile phone imports increased by 33.20 percent on a month-on-month (MoM) basis in October 2023 and stood at $165.941 million compared to imports of $124.576 million in September 2023, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).