Senate IT committee is considering a proposal of allowing one duty-free mobile phone under the baggage rule. Initially, this rule was withdrawn because of the misuse by mafia through smuggling of phones into the country escaping taxes. The scheme that was unveiled was regarding the use of information of international passengers for the registration of expensive phones. However, the rule was soon re-implemented and thereafter, FBR was able to connect Rs7 Billion in taxes on mobile imports.
This implementation was countered by the IT Committee as it stated that with the absence of any mobile phone production plants, it is not feasible to import phones with such high duty and taxes. It discourages the growth of smartphones within Pakistan thus making it an unsuitable option for smartphone companies should they plan to invest in the country.
According to phoneworld,
Senior official of Pakistan Air force also expressed reservations over the imposition of duties on mobile imports while saying that officials with phones for defense purposes have been asked for registration which they cannot and faced great difficulties. It is important to note that armed forces personal are not allowed to keep smartphones.
Regarding the fake registration cases, Chairman PTA said that around 54000 cases of misuse identity to avail FBR baggage rules for free registration of mobile devices were reported. PTA deletes the registered decie IMEI under misuse and sends them for de-listing /blocking in the system. Further PTA sends all logs, details to FBR /FIA for necessary legal action at their end. Genuine passengers are informed to register the device under FBR baggage rules.
This has been a fundamental problem which has paused our progress rate because of certain people who try to find a different way around the system just for their own personal benefit and ends up costing the nation much more than anticipated.