International travelers now have to pay mobile phone taxes even on a single device

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The federal government is withdrawing the tax exemption on the mobile phones brought by the passengers traveling to Pakistan. Previously, any international traveler was allowed to register one phone on one passport without paying any fee of taxes but from today onwards, they will have to pay mobile phones taxes on every device they bring.

The news was shared by Dr. Hamid Ateeq, Member Inland Revenue, and Policy, in a press conference where he explained that due to the misuse of the policy, the government is getting rid of it for good.

The new budget 2019-20 is heavily riddled with taxes and this new move can also be seen as a pathway to generate more revenue for the federal government.

Earlier this year, the government initiated Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) to curb mobile phone smuggling in Pakistan and pushed all users to register their devices by a certain date if they do not want it to be blocked.

In April it started to flush out all the unregistered devices in the country but at the end of May 2019, PTA informed the Senate Standing Committee that airline passenger’s data acquired at the airport to register mobile phones is being misused.

The authority has received more than 700 complaints detailing registration of mobile phones on the names of passengers who didn’t bring any mobile device to Pakistan.

During the committee’s meeting, Senator Rubina Khalid suggested that as the phones being brought by the international travelers don’t come under smuggling, people should be exempted from paying mobile phone taxes altogether but now the no device will be left out from paying the national exchequer.

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