Duty free imports of the mobile phones under the baggage rule

Duty free imports of the mobile phones under the baggage rule

ISLAMABAD - Duty free imports of the mobile phones under the baggage rule is on cards by PTI government.

Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Shabbar Zaidi, has said that the recommendation for allowing duty-free import of mobile phones under baggage rule would be tabled before the federal cabinet.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication, Chairman FBR said that baggage rule was misused in the past, compelling the government to withdraw the facility and duty/taxes are now applicable on every mobile handset import.

The parliamentary panel, which met with Rubina Khalid in the chair, dismissed FBR’s suggestion to withdraw the facility and stated that instead of blocking loopholes in the system and improving check and balance, the Board took away the facility which has annoyed international passengers, especially overseas Pakistanis, which is hurting every segment of the society including students and other individuals. ------------------------------

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) confronted FBR on taxes on mobile phone imports, saying that it is affecting the IT sector’s growth negatively as well as the digital agenda of the government. The secretary MoITT pleaded before the committee that the duty on mobile import under the baggage rule should be withdrawn.

The senators from the government benches also opposed the government’s decision of imposing a duty on import of even a single mobile phone handset. The committee recommended to suspend an order of FBR and allow one duty-free mobile phone import under the baggage rules.

The Committee was of the view that wealthy people can afford any price of phones and taxes levied on them but the larger part of the population, who are using phones for multiple purposes, cannot afford it.

FBR gave a briefing on reasons for the withdrawal of customs duty exemption on the imported phone per calendar year under the personal baggage rules.