Mobile Phone Imports Decreased in February
The import of mobile phones declined by 14.6 percent in Pakistan during the month of February, arguably as a result of the 100 percent cash margin imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Mobile phones worth $60.02 million were imported during February, while in January, the mobile phone imports had been valued at $70.17 million, according to data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
SBP had imposed 100 percent cash margin on the import of about 400 consumer goods, including mobile phones, motor vehicles, electrical and home appliances, cigarettes, and jewellery in the second half of February. This was in response to Pakistan’s alarmingly high trade deficit in recent months that is eating up the country’s foreign exchange reserves. This regulatory measure, SBP had stated, would help accommodate the incremental growth of capital goods to strengthen industry.
However, the imports of many other consumer items have continued to surge in the 2016-17 fiscal year. For example, the imports of petroleum products went up 23.28 percent to $4.193 billion in the eight-month period. Within the petroleum group, the import bill of natural gas liquefied surged a massive 144 percent. Similarly, the import bill of machinery surged 42.36 percent to $7.811 billion, mainly due to power generating machinery.