According to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the authorities have collected over Rs. 230 million in revenue through the taxes on mobile phone imports starting from 15th January 2019.
The information was revealed by FBR official during the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecom.
This year, to curb the menace of mobile phone smuggling, the government introduced DIRBS and made it mandatory for everyone to register their devices with PTA. Later in April, the authorities started to block unregistered smartphones which could only be unlocked by paying the taxes to FBR.
According to Chairman PTA, around 1.2 million mobile phones have been registered with the authority while 8.8 million of them are still non-compliant in Pakistan.
PTA Chairman has also disclosed that people are hesitant to register their phones over the fear of being asked to pay hefty taxes. The recent cases where a huge amount of taxes were imposed due to the reprogrammed IMEI number might have added to the anxiety of people who still own an unregistered cell phone.
Over the short course of time, both PTA and FBR have struggled with filling the loopholes in the system made to regulate mobile phone imports. After realizing that the data of airline passengers is being misused to register illegal mobile phones, the federal government withdrew the baggage rule exemption and made it compulsory to pay taxes on every single phone being brought into the country.
The authorities also introduced a two-step verification process to confirm the identity of the user to avoid the case of stolen identities. PTA with the help of FIA is also working on eliminating the fake registrations of mobile phones on the black market.
If you want to know the details of taxes imposed on mobile phone imports, click here.