The Federal Board of Revenue has chalked out a plan to levy taxes on the phones that are smuggled into the country and are in the stocks of various distributors as unsold.
The Federal Board of Revenue is waiting for cabinet’s approval to implement the plan under which the illegal phones were legalized in the country but after paying taxes, the smuggled phones that are inactive currently would be active after the tax is paid according to the plan, a senior FBR officer said on Thursday.
The FBR said illegal import of mobile phones in the country evading taxes put a huge dent on the country’s exchequer, Dawn reported.
The FBR official said the organization will present the summary in the next cabinet meeting.
The official said the government will allow the sellers and distributors roughly 30 to 45 days to legalize the mobile phones that are currently inactive if the deadline is passed the devices will be blocked and useless.
The plan also states that the smuggled phones before or after the deadline will not be considered for activation, it is for the devices only that are currently sitting on the shelves as inactive. Secondly, the handsets that are currently in-use imported legally or illegally will be exempted from the duty.
During the financial year 2017-18 Pakistan has imported mobile phones worth of $847.66 million and in the previous financial year the import bill exceeded $1 billion, however, there was no duty on imports from China under the free trade agreement with China and little duty applicable from other countries.
The government has revised the customs duties on the mobile phones in order to curb the import bills that are damaging the country’s economy. The government has levied regulatory and customs duties on the mobile phone which resulted in the smuggling of mobile phones in the country negatively affecting the government revenues.