Mobile phone dealers protest against PTA’s policy on used phones
Around 80% of Pakistanis buy used smartphones, claimed mobile phone dealers.
Mobile phone dealers in Karachi have intimidated to go on a shutter down strike against PTA’s strange policies of imposing heavy duties which amount to thrice the cost of the mobile phone itself. TechJuice has also reported a similar event just yesterday, where PTA mistakenly charged over Rs. 45,000 custom duty on a feature phone that was itself worth Rs. 3,000 only.
According to the local media reports, smartphone users, as well as mobile phone dealers both, are not happy with PTA’s new DIRBS which not only has several registration loopholes but also charges unjustified custom duty. According to Samaa News, Karachi Electronics Dealers Association has said that if the government fails to issue an SRO for the registration of used mobile phones in Pakistan, over 1.5 million mobile phone dealers will be unemployed.
Though Peshawar High Court has recently ordered PTA not to block any unregistered phone for the next three months, yet it had already registered around 33,000 mobile phones under the duty paid category. Unfortunately, the data of nearly 45,000 international travelers was stolen and misused for mobile registration and to unlock smuggled mobile phones.
Meanwhile, smartphone dealers are of the view that PTA’s new policy will make it impossible to import used mobile phones. They said that the custom duty of Rs. 15,000 is being charged for a Rs. 10,000 phone and argued that GSMA-approved phones should not have been added to custom duty category. Mobile dealers have demanded a NOC from PTA for selling used mobile phones otherwise they will go for a shutter down strike.
On the other hand, the authorities have said that the mobile phone traders have tricked consumers to buy used phones without informing them that the phones were unregistered and will be blocked. PTA and FBR imposed the custom duties on mobile phones to restrict crime and illegal practices via unregistered phone.