Daily Times reports that the Central Board of Revenue has widthdrawn the 40 percent import duty imposed on telecom equipment.
In its latest Customs General Order 22/2006, the CBR had announced the removal of two telecom equipment from the list of other products that could be imported without paying a penny as duty, industry sources said.
Before this order only imports from China were considered duty free by CBR. Here are some interesting sections from the article that point to why only Chinese imports might have been allowed duty-free imports previously:
“It appeared that the government privileged the Chinese products on grounds that some of the Chinese companies are manufacturing telecom components locally and duty-free import would not hurt the local industry’s business scope.”
“Before the fresh order, only China’s ZTE remained the main beneficiary of the duty concession, which has been operating as vendor for the PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company) for the past two years and fulfilling its almost all telecom equipment supply orders.”
“The PTCL has hired a Chinese firm to computerise its billing and customer care operations at a cost of Rs 1.8 billion almost a year ago,” said the source. “Under that contract,ZTE will be responsible to automate the whole system within 18 months and complete the task in accordance with international telecom standards.”