Yes, you read it correct the government has increased import tax in Pakistan on smartphones by up to 240%. All the phones which are not locally assembled in the country will face increased import duty.
Increased Import Duty on smartphones
The government has markedly increased regulatory duties on the import of smartphones up to a 240% hike for additional Rs27 billion revenues in the new fiscal year. This new increase will only affect smartphones that are being imported, and not locally assembled products.
The new regulatory duties came into action from Thursday, the first day of the new fiscal year, 2021-22, according to a notification issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). But don’t think that these are the only taxes, this 240% hike is added above all the already existing tax and customs. This means only one thing that smartphones will be getting expensive, quite a lot expensive!
240% tax increase on all phones?
The duties on the import of mobile phones have been increased in the range of 32% to 240%, depending on the cost of the imported mobile phone. It is not just a slap of 240% on everything. A simple handset costing $30 will now attract Rs300, along with the new up by Rs135 or 82%. So no matter your price range, you will have to pay extra.
Smartphones of less than or equal to $30, but not exceeding $100 per phone have been slapped with Rs3,000 per phone duty. The increase is higher by Rs1,380 or 85%, according to the notification. The mobile phones of $100 to $200 will draw Rs7,500 duties, increased up by Rs5,070 or 208%, the second-highest increase for a smartphone normally used by mid-range people. The phones having a value of above $200 to $350 will attract Rs11,000 duty, an increase of Rs7,760 or 240%. This is the highest increase both in absolute and percentage terms.
Now, the smartphones worth $350 to $500 at the time of import will attract Rs15,000 duties which got higher by Rs5,500 or 59%. Similarly, smartphones worth above $500 is slapped with Rs22,000 duty that is up by Rs5,350 or 32%.
The government has decided to increase import duties on handsets at a time when these are in high demand due to online classes being taken by the students. This was the reason that the country imported $1.9 billion worth of mobile phones, up by 63% during the July-May period of the last fiscal year.
But the tax authorities believe that enhanced duties on mobile imports would encourage locally produced handsets (which are almost none). So to all those who love themselves a nice flagship or an iPhone will not have to pay a lot more than the price of the smartphone.
So, what do you guys think of this 240% import tax in Pakistan? Was there any imported phone you were thinking to buy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.