Hi Everyone! Hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to another blog. In this blog, we will talk about, Fall in Mobile Prices. The government is reviewing budget proposals submitted by mobile phone traders as the mobile industry is struggling due to high taxes and import restrictions, which have caused an economic downturn. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is considering lowering the tax on mobile phones in the upcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, set to be announced on June 9th.
The government had to increase the tax on mobile phones from 100% to 150%, which led to only Rs5 billion to Rs10 billion being deposited in the national treasury instead of Rs85 billion. The number of mobile phone users in Pakistan has surpassed 186.9 million.
The government is considering a significant reduction in the taxes imposed on mobile phones in the new budget, as a measure to address the financial crisis. Currently, the taxes on both small and large mobile phones range from 100% to 150%.
The mobile industry is facing a potential collapse due to higher taxes. This has not only impacted traders but has also made it harder for millions of people to make a living. We have received information that a group of representatives from the Mobile Phones Traders Association has presented suggestions to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other senior officials.
Currently, the authorities are reviewing the proposals and recommendations for inclusion in the new budget. It has come to light that Pakistan imposes a 75% duty on cellular phones, while other countries in the region like Singapore, Bangladesh, and Turkey do not have such high duties. Consequently, people are using smartphones without paying duties in collaboration with FBR.
The recent duty hike of 100% to 150% on cell phones has rendered them unaffordable for various segments of society. These include the poor, laborers, daily wage earners, students, professionals, lawyers, and civil society. Munir Beg Mirza is the General Secretary of the All Pakistan Mobile Phones Traders Association. He expressed concern over the prohibition of importing used mobile phones. As it has resulted in a rise in smuggling activities that primarily benefit a select few companies.
People are using smartphones illegally, avoiding taxes and accessing all features, which causes financial losses for the nation. Both consumers and the government need to pay attention to tax obligations. Implementing appropriate measures in the upcoming fiscal year can increase government revenue. From phone-related duties significantly, from Rs5 billion to Rs100 billion.
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