On a month-on-month basis, phone import bill in July doubled in terms of value from $37.3 million to $73.8m (97.85 per cent).
The massive increase in mobile phone imports bill was unexpected given the fact that inner shipments of handsets had consistently been declining during the last fiscal year. It amid devaluation in currency through imposing heavy taxes and regulatory duties by the government as part of its plan to compress demand in the wake of disaster with balance-of-payments.
According to the Director, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (Trade) office in Karachi that So far latest data for August has not been compiled. Cumulatively, mobile phone import bill dropped by almost a fifth from $741.8m in FY18 to $596.4m in FY19, according to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). On a year-on-year basis, the handset imports in July rose by above 14pc ($64.6m) compared to the same month last year.
A leading global technology market firm, Canalys compiled data on Pakistan’s mobile phones market. Statistics shows that mobile phone imports shrank significantly in terms of number of handsets from the last financial year. From a monthly average of 1.1m phones brought into the country during FY18, the number decreased to the monthly average of 0.8m in FY19.
According to the report, industry resources say that massive currency devaluation over the last year forced users to shift away from high-end, expensive handsets to reasonably priced ones, offering similar features.