Govt asked to extend deadline for blocking imported mobile phones

Published December 27, 2018
Members of All Pakistan Mobile Phone Traders Association protest outside National Press Club on Wednesday. — White Star
Members of All Pakistan Mobile Phone Traders Association protest outside National Press Club on Wednesday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: The Mobile Phone Traders’ Association on Wednesday demanded that the deadline for blocking imported phones be extended by another month or two as a large number of dealers have placed orders for imported mobile phones.

Speaking at a press conference at the National Press Club, the association’s Central President Munir Baig Mirza said dealers used to import second hand mobile phones till a ban was imposed in 1996.

“When PTI came into power, we contacted Finance Minister Asad Umar and told him that 95pc of dealers deal in second hand phones and that the ban on the import of second hand phones should be lifted,” he said.

Mr Mirza said that the minister played his role in lifting the ban and that cabinet had approved the lifting of the ban on Nov 23. However, he said, some companies wanted their new phones which were already in the market to be sold and that the file was “deliberately” delayed.

“The Statutory Regulatory Order was finally issued on Dec 24, which says the ban imposed in 1996 has been lifted,” Mr Mirza said.

The government has already announced that imported sets will not be activated after Dec 31, he said, and that dealers have already put in orders for second hand phones.

“We request the government to extend the deadline by another month or two for the activation of imported sets,” he said.

A phone dealer, Malik Kaleem said the government has fixed the same duty for new and second hand phones, which he said is unfair and urged the government to reconsider the duty.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018

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