Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has been stopped from blocking unregistered mobile phones. The decision was taken by Peshawar High Court on Tuesday.
The court barred PTA to block the unregistered phone for three months while hearing the petition filed by mobile phone dealers. Earlier this year, PTA took the initiative to block unregistered mobile phones after giving several months of grace time to people so they can register their devices.
By January 15, 2019, PTA successfully registered a total of 357 million IMEI and later on started blocking 2.8 million illegal phones with the help of DIRBS which was formed to curb mobile phone smuggling in Pakistan.
While the authority started its drive to block unregistered mobile phones, several cell phone dealers showed outrage because of a huge stockpile of illegal devices. Later on, PTA’s decision was also challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Every year, the government loses millions in taxes due to illegal mobile phones and although DIRBS is far from perfect at the moment and is still facing many unforeseen circumstances like people unblocking their devices in the black market for Rs. 2000-3000 and even theft of airline passengers’ data for fake registration of mobile phone registration, it is a step in the right direction to collect duties on cell phone imports.