Even though the mobile phone usage is at its highest in Pakistan with 24 million mobile phones being imported each year, there are no mobile phone assembly lines in the country itself. But fear not as it seems that the long wait is about to be over as Pakistan is going to soon start manufacturing mobiles locally, as five mobile companies are looking into the country to set up their assembly lines.
Haier, G5, Jio Phone, Mobo Mobiles and Foxcom are the five companies that have sought the permission of the government to set up the assembly lines, and this development is set to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) worth millions of dollars and is expected to reduce the country’s growing import bill.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, last month only had issued the guidelines for setting up assembly lines in Pakistan in a bid to step up the pace of digitalization. The domestic manufacturing is also expected to bring down the mobile phone prices in the country and ultimately help achieve the goal of rapid digitalization.
PTA has also insisted that all the phones that will be locally produced in the country should have a clear marking that states “Assembled in Pakistan.” As part of the agreement, PTA will issue provisional no-objection certificates for six months to the applicants that will inform the telecom sector regulator about the setting up of the assembly plants for inspection.
After the initial six months are over, the applicants will have to demonstrate that the plants are fully functional and according to the international standards. Speaking to a local newspaper, a PTA official said,
“After evaluation and verification, the PTA will issue formal no-objection certificates following inspection of the assembly lines keeping in view the health, safety and technical standards, we want to ensure international standards.”
With the establishment of these assembly lines the smuggling issue is also expected to decrease. The issue of smuggling is very prevalent and recently Customs Intelligence Karachi seized 8,000 phones in a single raid, though the manufacturer has been provided the ‘Green Channel’ a status given to reputable importers which entails less inspection and swift clearance. Furthermore, mobiles worth about $1 billion are smuggled into Pakistan every year.
PTA is also to introduce a system through which handsets without a PTA-approved IMEI number will not work in Pakistan.
Source: Express Tribune