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Handsets imports plunge 10.87% to $755.5m.


The imports of handsets into the country decreased by 10.87 per cent during the Financial Year 2018-19, as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $755.545 million during July-June 2018-19 compared with the imports of $847.654 million during July-June 2017-18, according to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

On a year-on-year basis, the imports of mobile phones witnessed a decrease of 34.18pc during June 2019, when compared to the imports of the same month of last year. The mobile imports in June 2019 were recorded at $57.733 million as against the imports of $87.717 million in June 2018.

Meanwhile, on a month-on-month basis, the import of mobile phones also witnessed a decline of 12.27pc during June 2019, when compared to the imports of $65.810 million during May 2018.

It is pertinent to mention that the country's merchandise trade deficit plunged by 15.33pc during the FY19, as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The trade deficit contracted to $31.820 billion during FY19 against the deficit of $37.583 billion recorded in FY18.

Other telecom apparatus imports witnessed a rise of over 6.9% in 2017-18 as they were $686.432 million compared to $642.119 million during the same period of 2016-17.

The reason behind decline the imports were hefty taxes. The government has imposed on the import of mobile phones in Pakistan. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has divided the tax amount into two main categories of Commercial Imports and Baggage (Individual) Imports, which are further divided into 6 main pricing segments starting from below 30 USD.

For Commercial Imports cellphones priced below $30 will be charged a flat rate of Rs. 370. Mobile phones which are priced between $30 and less than $100 will be charged Rs. 3,670. Similarly, the phones between the range of $100 and $200, phones will be charged a flat rate Rs. 5,440.

In the budget, government has given some relief to mobile users as it cut 3% of import tax on mobile phones.

Briefing in the national assembly, HammadAzhar- state Minister for Revenue said that a number of taxes had been applied on smartphone sector. 3% decrease will give a sigh of relief to mobile dealers.

In recent months, since Govt. has imposed taxes on mobile phones; we have observed a visible decline in new phone purchasing. It also impacted the revenue generation form phone manufacturing companies. It seems that, the decrease of taxes in latest federal budget has taken in this context.

We can expect that government relaxation to mobile industry in its latest budget 2018-2019 will impact positively. Retailers will reduce smartphone prices and customers will be able to buy latest phones enthusiastically.

It is pertaining to mention here the mobile phone imports during the first eight months of the current fiscal year 2017-18 has seen a sharp increase of 14.51 percent as compared to the same period last year 2016-17.

The total value of mobile imports was recorded at $526 million during July-February 2017-18 period which was up from the last recorded $459.38 million in the previous period July-February 2016-17.

Apart from mobile phones, Pakistan's overall telecom group imports also witnessed an increase of 13.7 percent during the same eight months period July-February 2017-18 as compared to the last fiscal year's period.

The total telecom imports of this period were recorded at $1.003 billion which was significantly low during the previous period with $882.17 million.

While considering year-on-year basis, overall telecom imports in February 2018 were up by 25.6 percent and 57.9 percent when it is compared to the imports during February 2017. Whereas on a month-on-month basis, the import decreased by 4.48% as compared to January 2018.

The telecom import in February 2018 was accounted for $127.38 million against the import of $101.415 million in February 2017 and $133.366 million in January 2018 respectively.
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Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jul 31, 2019
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