KARACHI: Mobile phone imports soared by 79 per cent in the first half of fiscal year.
According to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan, the import bill of mobile phones reached $504 million during 1HFY20, nearing the total cost yielded in 2018-19.
This has come despite government’s efforts to bring down the import bill, including increases in duty on mobile phones over the last few years.
In the last fiscal year, mobile phone imports came in at $281m, reflecting a steep fall compared to $740m under the same head in FY18.
A local mobile phone dealer said that most of the imports are coming through legal channels due to tight monitoring by the authorities, adding that the smuggled ones have no future in the country. However, others said smuggled phones were also available in the market.
If the given trend continues at the same pace, import of mobile phones could end exceeding $1 billion by the end of this fiscal year.
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2020