Last week, the government announced its plan to launch a crackdown against smugglers of mobile phones by blocking all unregistered mobile phones that are being used across the country in Pakistan. However, this won’t have the desired effect as most mobile users have bought their phones from the open market. As a result, the focus should ideally be on curbing the sale of smuggled mobile phones.
Be that as it may, the government needs to streamline this crackdown against smuggled mobile phones. Everyone should be given a chance to register their phone for free. In a similar vein, it must be compulsory to register mobile phones that are purchased in the future. Owners and sellers of mobile shops across the country should also register the phones that they have in stock. They should also be asked to pay a fixed tax on each phone to ensure that the handset is activated. Sellers should have the option of either pay this tax or asking the customer to pay the tax when the sale is made. Since mobile phones and their accessories are predominantly imported, high taxes should be placed on them. This will create a demand for locally manufactured mobile phones.
Engr Shahryar Khan Baseer