News, Technology

Soaring Dollar Rates Cause Disruption in Pakistan’s Tech Industry

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >

The skyrocketing dollar rate in Pakistan has resulted in a significant spike in the prices of devices such as laptops and smartphones, leading to a sharp decline in demand and shaking the information technology (IT) industry to its core. The subsequent economic instability, coupled with hefty import duties, has opened doors for the black market, which now holds a significant share of the tech market. 

As the tech sector faces a crisis, experts urge the government to reduce import duties and provide subsidies to revive the industry and propel Pakistan toward a tech revolution.

Economic Instability and Declining Sales:

The prices of PC hardware have doubled in Pakistan over the past year, causing sales of tech devices to plummet by almost 70 percent. Bilal Ahmed, a wholesale dealer of tech paraphernalia, laments the drastic drop in sales and highlights the room available for the black market to flourish due to high prices. Market sources reveal that smuggled equipment now holds 65 percent of the tech market’s share. The import taxes imposed on gadgets, ranging from laptops to smartphones and PC components, have created an environment where replacing the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of brand-new smartphones with those of cheap secondhand alternatives is becoming prevalent to evade duties.

Rise of the Black Market and Its Consequences:€

The popularity of black-marketed devices, such as laptops, poses a challenge for students and professionals who need help finding affordable repairs since warranties cannot be claimed for illegally procured items. The circulation of smuggled devices, coupled with high import taxes, has created an atmosphere conducive to the black market’s growth. The illegal practice of changing IMEI numbers to avoid duties further compounds the problem.

Tech Experts Weigh In:

Experts in the tech industry blame the state of the economy and the soaring dollar rate for the current crisis. Athar Sheikh, the manager of an online IT store, expresses regret over the constant rise in gadget prices for Pakistani consumers due to the fluctuating dollar rate. Sheikh also emphasizes that the heavy taxes imposed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have dealt a final blow to the already crumbling tech sector. Import duties levied by the PTA on smartphones far exceed the actual cost of the devices, stifling growth and innovation in the sector.

Call for Urgent Measures and Subsidies:

Shehzad Ilyas, an IT expert associated with a major software house in Lahore, believes that reducing import duties is crucial for Pakistan’s tech revolution. As developed countries move towards introducing 6G technology, Pakistan remains stuck with 4G. Ilyas urges the government to subsidize the tech sector to catch up with the global digital transformation. He highlights the need for timely measures and a supportive environment to foster growth and innovation within the industry.

Government Support and a Vision for the Future:

To revitalize the tech industry, the Pakistani government must take immediate action by reducing import duties, providing subsidies, and creating policies that support innovation and technological advancement. By fostering an environment conducive to growth, Pakistan can tap into the immense potential of its talented IT professionals and pave the way for a digital revolution. Investment in infrastructure, research, development, and education will be essential in driving the industry forward and positioning Pakistan as a key player in the global technology landscape.

The skyrocketing dollar rate and high import duties have severely impacted Pakistan’s tech industry, leading to a decline in demand and the growth of the black market. Urgent measures are needed to reduce import duties, provide subsidies, and create a supportive environment for the tech sector. With the right policies and investments, Pakistan can unlock its potential and propel itself into a digital revolution. It is imperative for the government, stakeholders, and industry experts to collaborate and work towards a shared vision of a thriving and innovative tech industry that contributes significantly to Pakistan’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

In addition to addressing import duties and providing subsidies, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is crucial for the revival of Pakistan’s tech industry. Encouraging startup incubators, facilitating access to funding and investment, and promoting collaboration between academia, industry, and the government will create an ecosystem where aspiring tech entrepreneurs can thrive. By nurturing homegrown talent and supporting disruptive ideas, Pakistan can harness its untapped potential and emerge as a hub for technological innovation, attracting both domestic and foreign investments in the process.

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile