PTA adds Rs. 5 billion to national treasury by registering 44 million mobile phones

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August 19, 2019
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In its effort to curb stolen and smuggled mobile phone, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the top regulator of the country working under the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT), has registered IMEIs of around 44 million mobile phones since it launched DIRBS in January. Through its move of strengthening Pakistan’s economy, PTA deposited Rs. 5 billion to the national exchequer on that account.

Business Recorder reports that the PTI government has recently released performance statistics to evaluate the contribution of different sectors to the economy of Pakistan. The report indicated that since the launch of PTA’s Device identification, registration, and blocking system (DIRBS), it has been a key source of generating revenue as well as curbing the menace of mobile theft and smuggling of used mobile phones in the country.

See Also: PTA mistakenly charged Rs. 45,000 custom duty on a Rs. 3,000 feature phone [Updated]

It must be noted that DIRBS was made operational on the directions of Federal Cabinet late last year. The system was developed to find out the non-compliant devices which are operating on the local public mobile networks. The system is capable of automatically identifying mobile phones which are fake makes, sub-standard or are illegally imported. The system has helped in restricting smartphone thefts and bring the operating smartphones into a regulated net.

Every individual who wishes to buy a new smartphone in Pakistan must check the compliance of the mobile phone IMEI with PTA before making the purchase. The validity of the mobile phone can be checked either by sending the IMEI number to 8484 in a text message or through the PTA website. Android users can also download the DIRBS android mobile application to know this status.

By following countermeasures to restrict the use of illegal smartphones in Pakistan, the MoITT and its allied organizations have been successful in saving a total Rs 64.33 million from their allocated budget, which has now been deposited to the national exchequer.

On the other hand, mobile phone dealers have expressed concerns 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.

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