Senate Wants No Taxes on Mobile Phones in Pakistan

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The Senate Standing Committee on IT has recommended re-evaluating the tax on mobile phones that are already available in Pakistan and also suggested to remove the restriction of one person bringing one mobile per year from abroad to Pakistan.

The committee met with Senator Rubina Khalid on Wednesday and briefed on the process to streamline the collection of tax on mobile phones at all airports as well as to extend the time period of blocking the unregistered smartphones, as decided earlier by the Govt.

Furthermore, the imposition of tax on bringing more than one phones was strongly opposed by the committee, which recommended that this policy should be reviewed in accordance with the standing committee of IT. Adding to that, the taxes on the smartphones already available in Pakistan should also be lowered.

The policy states that only on a mobile phone is allowed duty-free on each trip to Pakistan and if there are more than one, the user will have to pay the tax on mobile phones.

As per Senator Ateeq Shaikh, this policy had numerous flaws and every aspect of it must be reviewed separately for more public clarity. Earlier, govt. had also slapped heavy taxes on imported smartphones in Pakistan.

Moreover, Customs chief told the committee that 34,000 smartphones have been registered via the DIRBS system and almost Rs 1.5 million has been collected by imposing a tax on mobile phones. These devices include only 116 models as of now.

The committee was of the view that the restriction on the number of phones per visit to Pakistan by any passenger should be withdrawn and the tax collection policy should be revisited as the figures are not very encouraging.

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