ISLAMABAD: The country imported mobile phones worth $1.462 billion during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year 2023-24, registering growth of 209.07 per cent when compared to $473.287 million during the same period of last fiscal year.

In rupee term, the country imported mobile phones of Rs414.276 billion during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year 2023-24 and registered 279.52 per cent growth when compared to Rs109.158 billion during the same period of last year.

Pakistan’s mobile phone imports increased by 5.44 per cent on a month-on-month (MoM) basis in April 2024 and stood at $161.393 million compared to imports of $153.045 million in March 2024, according to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Mobile phone imports registered 1,424.42 per cent growth on a year-on-year (YoY) basis in April 2024 when compared to $10.587 million in April 2023.

Mobile phones: Jul-Mar imports soar 181.26pc to $1.301bn YoY

The overall telecom imports into the country stood at $1.834 billion during July-April 2023-24 and registered 135.44 per cent growth compared to $77.359 million during the same period of the last fiscal year.

On a YoY basis, the overall telecom imports registered a growth of 515.52 per cent and stood at $211.663 million in April 2024 compared to $34.388 million in April 2023. On a MoM basis, the overall telecom imports registered 12.02 per cent growth in April 2024 compared to $188.942 million during March 2024.

Talking to Business Recorder, former Finance Ministry Adviser Dr Ashfaque Hassan Khan said “this is a bad policy and there is a dire need for curbing such unnecessary imports because the country is facing a shortage of dollar. This needs to be investigated,” said Khan.

The local manufacturing/assembling plants manufactured/assembled 6.1 million mobile handsets during the first two months (January-February) of the calendar year 2024 compared to 0.3 million imported commercially.

Official data revealed that local manufacturing/assembling plants manufactured/assembled 3.83 million mobile handsets during February compared to 0.06 million imported commercially.

Further, the locally manufactured/assembled 6.1 million mobile phone handsets included 2.78 million 2G and 3.35 million smartphones. Besides, as per the PTA’s data, 60 per cent of mobile devices are smartphones, and 40 per cent are 2G on the Pakistan network.

Local manufacturing/assembling of mobile handsets declined by around four per cent during the calendar year 2023, attributable to issues in imports on account of restricting the opening of letters of credit (LCs) for mobile phones’ accessories.

However, despite restrictions, commercial imports of mobile handsets increased during this period, official data revealed.

Minister of State for IT and Telecommunications, Shaza Fatima Khawaja has stated that 35 mobile manufacturing companies are working in the country, however, only 0.2 million mobile phones were exported.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Usman May 21, 2024 09:19am
If we cant make them here than lets put a 500 percent tax .every year we beg for a billion dollar from imf making our life hard and here we cant even make phones.
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Builder May 21, 2024 12:18pm
The show off of iPhones wouldn't stop!
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Pakistani May 21, 2024 12:34pm
Pakistan is desperately trying to get dollar loans. Same time it has spent 1.4 billion dollars in 10 months to import mobile phones despite local manufacturing. An unreal scenario!
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