Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) has reduced the taxes on imported mobile phones in Pakistan by up to 45% in order to curb smuggling and avoid losses to the national exchequer, reports PhoneWorld.
The step has been taken after the federal government withdrew the baggage rule, which provided tax exemption to import of a single mobile phone.
Moving forward, the airline passengers would have to pay less when bringing a new smartphone into the country. The authorities must be hoping that a decrease in the amount of tax may prompt international travelers to register the imported mobile phones instead of trying to dodge the system.
Earlier this year, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) after giving a lengthy deadline started to block unregistered smartphones in the country through DIRBS – a software PTA designed to filter out non-registered mobile phones in Pakistan. Soon afterward, the scandal erupted confirming that the airline passengers’ data was being used to register illegal mobile devices in the country.
The tax exemption on the import of a single device was abolished later on, and the two-step verification system was introduced to confirm the identity of the said person.
Till now, the system made to stop smuggling is riddled with loopholes as people are being asked more tax than the actual value of the mobile phone. At the same time, listening to the plea of the mobile dealers, Peshawar High Court has stopped PTA to block mobile phones in Pakistan.