Budget 2019-20: Govt ends additional tax on mobile phone imports

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The Budget 2019-20 brings good news for the mobile phone users in Pakistan. The federal government has finally abolished the 3% additional tax on mobile phone imports which is applicable to all segments from budget to flagship categories in the handset industry.

The proposed measure will not only provide relief to the mobile phone importers across the country but also to the users as the end of additional tax on mobile phone imports will bring the prices down for the consumers.

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It will additionally also improve the import figures for mobile phones in the country which have decreased by 6.86% in the first 10 months of the fiscal year 2019 (July 2018- April 2019).

The rates of mobile phones in Pakistan skyrocketed after the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar in the open market last year. Since then, the devices which were belonged to entry-level segments moved onto the budget smartphone category depending upon their prices and so did the other devices made a major jump from one price category to another irrespective of their specs.

The government has tried to push the country towards digitization by allocating Rs. 7.341 billion for IT and Telecom division in the budget and smartphones are a major component of creating a digital economy. At the same time, the increase in the prices of everyday items in the budget 2019-20 will shackle people and may reduce the people’s purchasing power to afford luxury items like smartphones even with a slight reduction in prices.

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