Telecom equipment and mobile phone imports surge by 54pc in July

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Islamabad: According to a report in a local newspaper, it has been observed that the tax incentives offered to the telecom sector have borne fruit as imports of mobile phones and telecommunication equipment surged more than 50pc during the month of July.

Data available from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) revealed that telecommunication equipment and mobile phones worth $114.01m had been imported during July 2017 in comparison to $74.26m same period last year (SPLY), registering a 54pc increase year-on-year.

The budget for financial year 2017-18 had seen custom duties of 11pc and 16pc being dropped in favour of a uniform regulatory duty of 9pc.

Customs duty on smartphones was decreased from Rs1,000 a set to Rs650 for FY 2017-18.

A cellular company official commented that these imports had increased as a result of tax incentives offered by the government in this FY 2017-18 budgets and also due to rise in demand of telecom services.

He said “Some of the operators may be importing the equipment to upgrade and expand their networks under the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) Rollout Obligations while others may be doing it to meet consumer demand.”

Telecom equipments imports rose 62pc YoY from SPLY to reach $45.44m during July 2017. Mobile phone imports stood at $68.57m during July 2017, increasing 48pc YoY.

The combined import figure for telecom equipment and phones went down to $1.35b during FY 2016-17 from $1.36b in FY 2015-16.