On Monday, the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication was told by the Federal Board of Revenue that it is planning to allow duty-free mobile phone imports under the Baggage Rule.
Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR told the committee that they will put this recommendation in front of the federal cabinet in the coming days. FBR told that the baggage rule is being misused and because of that governments imposed taxes instead of giving facilities of mobile phone import.
Under the baggage rule, the mafia used the stolen data of international arriving passengers and then registered the phones on their name. FBR told that the facility was misused by registering expensive phones on international passenger’s information.
Chairman Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, Rubina Khalid criticized FBR for not blocking the loopholes in the rules and looting people through taxes. Such duties and taxes are not only disturbing local citizens but especially it is pain in the neck for overseas Pakistanis.
Not only the opposition but Government benches and ministry of IT (MOIIT), condemned the revenue board’s actions and asked it to revise all their taxes. MOIIT asked the senate committee to approve the FBR suggestion of duty-free mobile phone imports.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) told the participant of this meeting that more than 6 lac mobile phones were imported under the baggage rule which was also expensive. PTA official said they were informed that the facility is being misused. the taxes collected from the imports of mobile phones were PKR 29.9 billion in 2018-19 and PKR 15.1 billion in the first four months of this fiscal year.
At the end of the meeting, the committee approved the relief on the import of mobile phones. The meeting concluded by finalizing the decision to allow people to import one phone in their baggage.