PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) is the telecommunication regulator of Pakistan. It is responsible for the maintenance of telecommunication systems in Pakistan. They are also responsible for collecting taxes on imported smartphones. Import duties are already very high. Now, due to the increase in dollar prices, companies can’t provide reasonable prices.
As we all know, Apple doesn’t operate directly in Pakistan. iPhones are imported in Pakistan and sold through official resellers. People are also selling imported iPhones in the market which are not approved by PTA. iPhone prices are already very high in Pakistan after PTA approval. On top of that, the government has yet again imposed higher taxes. This means getting your iPhone approved has got more expensive.
New Tax Rates For iPhones
- 7, 7+ (36,554 PKR)
- 8, 8+ (49118 PKR)
- X, Xs series, 11 series and 12 series (69,814 PKR)
- 13 Pro (72,839 PKR)
- 13 Pro Max (73,819)
As you can see, the taxes have doubled. Consumers are very angry over these insanely high tax rates. In the amount of these taxes, one could buy another phone. For example, the 5-year-old iPhone X has a tax of approximately 70,000 PKR. This is more than the actual value of the device itself. The same is the case for other models as well. PTA taxes are not necessarily a bad thing. However, the government needs to re-think the rates. People won’t be complaining if the taxes were reasonable.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Higher Tax Rates
There are some advantages of these high taxes as well. Companies are encouraged to set up assembly and manufacturing plants in Pakistan. So, they can keep the prices low and consumers can get some great value for money devices. Another advantage is that smuggling of devices has been somewhat halted. The country’s economy can be benefitted if phones are made in Pakistan. Job opportunities will arise. Unemployment can be reduced when jobs will be offered by companies.
However, there are some disadvantages as well. Consumers have to bear all the load of these high taxes. The culture of patching IMEI of a device has picked up the pace. Smartphones are priced way higher than their value all over the globe. There must be a middle-ground. Because, in the end, the consumers are the ones we have to care about. If the taxes were reasonable, I am sure nobody would hesitate to pay them. Nobody would take the illegal route of patching IMEIs. The related authorities should review these high taxes.
The disadvantages are more severe than the advantages. I don’t think such an activity should be continued. These new tax rates are not reasonable at all. Taxes are more than the actual value of the phones. Getting your dream phone is more difficult than ever. I hope the government takes action and revises its decision.