The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is considering options to decrease the duty on mobile phones in the forthcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. The budget is expected to be disclosed on June 9. The FBR is taking into account the suggestions put forward by mobile phone traders.

Previously, the government was obligated to raise the duty on mobile phones by 100 per cent to 150 per cent, resulting in a deposit of only Rs5 billion to Rs10 billion in the national exchequer, instead of the anticipated Rs85 billion.

According to The News, the number of mobile phone users in Pakistan has surpassed 186.9 million. To address the financial crisis of the current fiscal year, the new budget is contemplating a significant reduction in the rates of duties on cellular phones. Currently, the duties on small and big mobile phones stand at approximately 100 per cent to 150 per cent.


The mobile industry is teetering on the verge of collapse due to the increased taxes. This not only affects traders but also poses difficulties for millions of people who rely on earning a livelihood through this sector.

It has been reported that a delegation from the Mobile Phones Traders Association has submitted recommendations to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other senior officials. The delegation has assured that efforts will be made to incorporate these recommendations into the budget. The proposals and recommendations are currently under review for potential inclusion in the new budget.

It has come to light that a 75 per cent duty is imposed on cellular phones in Pakistan, in contrast to other countries in the region such as Singapore, Bangladesh, and Turkey, where the duty is not as high. Consequently, people have been using smartphones without paying duties in collusion with the FBR.

The additional 100 per cent to 150 per cent duty on cell phones has made them unaffordable for the poor, laborers, daily wage earners, students, professionals, the legal community, and civil society.

Munir Beg Mirza, the General Secretary of the All Pakistan Mobile Phones Traders Association, stated that the ban on importing used mobile phones has led to an increase in smuggling to favor a few companies. Additionally, people are illegally using smartphones without paying substantial taxes, thus causing a loss to the national treasury.

He further noted that if an appropriate duty is imposed in the new financial year, not only will every consumer pay tax, but the government will also receive Rs100 billion instead of Rs5 billion in revenue from phones.