PTA Denies Loss of Revenue Due to Phone Blocking on Non-Payment of FBR Taxes

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Thursday said that the national exchequer has not experienced any loss of revenue on account of blocking of non-tax paid phones.

In a statement, the regulator highlighted that the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) registers all GSMA-valid mobile devices after payment of FBR duties/taxes and accordingly allows approved devices to work on all Pakistani mobile networks. In addition, DIRBS also identifies and blocks any IMEI of a mobile device that is cloned, duplicated or non-tax paid on a routine basis.

In March 2024, 1934 devices were identified by the system as non-tax paid. In order to avoid inconvenience, multiple alert messages were sent to the users to submit proof of payment against PSID (FBR-issued tax invoices) through PTA’s Complaint Management System.

However, those IMEIs whose proof of payment against the PSID were not received by PTA were blocked by the system on May 4, 2024. Thereafter, 248 mobile devices out of 1,934 blocked devices, have been unblocked after payment of applicable duties/taxes to FBR.

PTA said the issue highlighted in the media is false and misleading as the national exchequer has not experienced any loss of revenue. It is pertinent to highlight that so far government has collected Rs. 63 billion in the form of taxes and duties for handset registration in the individual category only.

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