LAHORE: The import of telecom equipment, telephone and cellular handsets has witnessed a slight decline during 2012-13, reaching $ 918.4 million from $ 954.05 million during preceding year.
During the period, the import of mobile handsets increased to $ 467.1 million from $ 465.3 million at the end of previous fiscal year.
The rise in demand for smart phones in the country has substantially increased the overall import bill of handsets, a data of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has revealed.
The government, earlier this year, imposed duty of Rs. 1,000 per handset on import of smart phones which might not be helpful in reducing the demand for handsets. However, it might encourage smuggling and sub-standard Chinese handsets in the market.
In order to curtail the burden on import bill, there is a need to encourage private sector and multinationals for local manufacturing and assembly of handsets and telecom equipment.