Government of Pakistan is withdrawing the facility of registration of one mobile phone on one passport (for international travelers) per year with no particular tax. According to the sources that the Government of Pakistan has decided to withdraw baggage rule exemption as per the current law. The decision has been taken to stop the misuse of the baggage rule. It will also generate additional revenue for the country. Once the government notifies it then the international travelers will have to pay taxes on mobile phones even if they bring a single mobile phone from abroad.
Dr. Hameed Ateeq (Member Inland Revenue and Policy) announced in the technical press conference of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on budget 2019-20, that “the baggage facility is being misused thus it has been decided to withdraw this particular facility.”
International travelers will be paying taxes now even if they bring a single mobile phone
The government’s new initiative that is Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) that aims to minimize smuggling of mobile phones is reportedly being misused due to the legalization of smuggled phones. This legalization is possible through a fraud by smugglers mafia at airports and mobile markets.
Misuse of data and information is also being done in violation of FBR baggage rule law where user credentials including passport and CNIC are being used for getting the registration under Federal Board of Revenue baggage rule exemption.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has confirmed the leakage of passenger’s data. That data was used for illegal registration of mobile phones (through DIRBS) with the assistance of travel agents and the data available at the airports. However, all such people can be traced out soon and they could be punished under the PECA law which could be up to 7-years of imprisonment or PKR 10 Million fine or both of them.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has sent around 760 cases of data theft to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and several arrests also have been made so far and there is an intense need to ensure that International travelers data is protected by the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan.
It was also observed in past that mobile phones are also being registered on the names of young children. The system was launched to minimize smuggling but it needs to be adopted and enforced to ensure customers, that their rights are protected and safe.
According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority data over 663,622 individual users have registered themselves with DIRBS since February, 2019. Out of these, 440,821 were registered under Federal Board of Revenue baggage rule exemption with no tax and 12,293 were registered under duty paid category.
For more updates stay tuned with us. We will let you know as soon as every detail reaches us out.
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