ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday announced that the government has decided to extend till January 15 the deadline for registration of mobile phones that are still ‘non-compliant’.
All such phones can be registered by inserting a SIM card into the device and making a phone call or sending an SMS.
“After January 15, phones will still be registered but after payment of 10 per cent of the phone’s custom duty,” he said.
Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar also tweeted about the decision, saying: “A large number of non-compliant & smuggled mobile sets are active in Pak. Therefore (and as a one time measure) to avoid blockage of services to individuals using such phones, the cabinet has directed PTA to regularise all phones activated in Pak till 15th Jan 2019.”
“After 15th Jan, any mobile set that is activated in Pak and is non-compliant or non tax paid will be deactivated after 30 days,” he added.
Azhar explained that while travelers bringing in phones from abroad will also benefit from the extension, customs baggage rules that limit the number of devices per passenger to five per year will remain in force at airports.
“We took this measure [to extend the deadline] because a lot of citizens are continuing to purchase mobile sets that are ‘non-compliant’ on the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s network. Not only that, a large number of vendors also have unsold inventory lying around. We want to this backlog to be cleared without inconveniencing honest citizens,” he explained.