The reports of a modification to the registration procedure and associated duties/taxes for mobile devices have been debunked by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The registration procedure and any associated charges or taxes have not changed, according to PTA spokeswoman Khurram Ali Mehran. For the next 60 days, all mobile devices can be used without being registered or paying any taxes. If they are not registered after 60 days, they will be blocked automatically, he added.
For the past few days, there have been murmurs in the market that owners of cell phones that have not been certified by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have been ecstatic to once again see local cellular networks on their devices. In order to activate their customers’ identity modules (SIMs) in their phones, they used social media to share advice with others.
While others view it as a technical issue, there have been persistent speculations that the Shehbaz Sharif-led administration has eliminated the significant tax on pricey cell phones and ordered the PTA to unblock the gadgets. In Pakistan, approximately 33 local assembly plants for mobile devices have been established since the Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) was implemented in 2019. This represents a major rise in the legal import of mobile devices.
Since the system’s adoption, these factories have created more than 50 million mobile devices, including 4G smartphones. The local assembly industry has advanced from its infancy to a well-growing stage with the successful implementation of the DIRBS, with notable growth noted in the local assembly of smartphones.
In 2019, only 119,639 smartphones were assembled locally, whereas, in 2020, the number of such devices grew to 2.1 million. The manufactured/assembled mobile phone handsets by local manufacturing plants during the calendar year 2021 stood at 24.66 million compared to 13.05 million in 2020, i.e., an 88 percent increase.
The government of Pakistan has established a comprehensive mobile manufacturing policy in response to the DIRBS’s effects in order to encourage and draw manufacturers to Pakistan and help them set up factories there. The PTA has begun to receive applications for mobile device manufacture after issuing Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations.
Through this effort, consumers will be able to purchase mobile devices made locally, contributing to the growth of jobs in the technology sector. The first open-source, complete DIRBS in the world was implemented in Pakistan. This system has the capacity to recognise every IMEI attached to Pakistan’s mobile networks and classify each one according to its compliance level. Since the implementation, the PTA has assisted the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in collecting more than Rs. 100 billion.