Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has been under fire for the last few days as people have been sharing the receipt of outrageous taxes imposed on them while they are completing mobile phone registration.
Recently, City 42 reported that PTA’s system charged Rs. 9000 tax on a feature phone worth Rs. 1200 in the market where some other users have been charged tax 15 times the current price of their phone.
The authorities stayed silent for a long time but recently, PTA has given a statement to Techjuice, putting the blame on FBR. It states, “PTA is only responsible for checking the IMEI of mobile devices to ensure that it is valid, and not a duplicate or reported stolen. The custom duties/tax calculation of mobile device being registered is determined by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).”
PTA also shared the possibility of reprogrammed IMEI numbers saying “the high tax on a relatively low-end mobile device, that device had a reprogrammed IMEI belonging to high-end phone.”
This might justify the tax allegedly 1000% more than the phone’s actual value but sadly, there is no mechanism to help those people who have been duped by the mobile phone dealers into buying such devices.
Previously, the airline passengers’ data was also reported to be misused for illegal mobile registration where PTA blamed FIA officials asserting that their task is only to register devices.
DIRBS is an automated system that is there to curb smuggling by registering all the present and future mobile phone devices in the country. Sadly, the system quickly after its launch has shown that it still has a long way to go before becoming foolproof.