Mobile imports observed a major decline during first 8 months of FY2018-19
The first 8 months (July-Feb) of 2018-19 witnessed a major decline of 9.1% in the imports of mobile phone devices. The cost which stood at $526.033 million during the same period last year remained at $478.137 million this year.
Mobile phone imports this year in February 2019, which was recorded at $54,320 million, reduced by 22.15% as compared to the cost which was $69,779 million in February 2018 last year.
According to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the figures in February reduced by -9.12% when compared to $59.771 million in January 2019.
Not only that but the overall imports this year were low as well. The total imports which were registered at $904.016 million this year were at $1.003 billion in July-Feb (2017-2018). This shows that imports decreased by 5.46% in Feb 2019.
Similarly, there was a decline of 10.81% in the imports of other telecom devices, from July to Feb which stood at $425.879 million as compared to $477.477 million last year. If you look at the difference in growth rate between January 2019 to Feb 2019, the imports decreased by 2.23% from $67.753 million to $66.245 million.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) launched a Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) and estimated that the revenue gained from the import of mobile devices will be around $200 million annually. Besides reducing security challenges in the country, the DIRBS system is expected to generate additional revenue as well.
The PTA has launched DIRBS to reduce the usage of fake mobile phone devices and protect the consumer’s interest by preventing mobile phone theft across the country, in line with Telecom policy 2015, which was issued by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom.