The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has addressed recent news reports about the alleged removal of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) taxes on mobile phones.

Contrary to claims that the Prime Minister of Pakistan has announced the removal of these taxes, the PTA clarifies that no such decision has been communicated to them by the Government of Pakistan.

Additionally, reports suggesting that Pakistanis returning from abroad will not have to pay these taxes and that non-PTA mobile users can get their devices approved by simply turning them on and off with a SIM inserted are false.

In July 2023, the Prime Minister introduced a facility allowing overseas Pakistanis to register their handsets tax-free through the Temporary Registration System for 120 days during each visit to Pakistan. The PTA emphasizes that this temporary facility is the only measure currently in place, and no broader removal of FBR taxes on handset registration has been enacted.

The PTA also clarified that its role is to verify the technical standards of mobile devices for registration through the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) after the payment of FBR taxes. The responsibility for the implementation and collection of these taxes lies with the FBR.

Any updates or changes regarding the implementation, increase, or removal of mobile device taxes should be confirmed directly with the FBR.

Previously, social media reports incorrectly claimed that the PTA had announced the removal of taxes on mobile phone registration. This misinformation led consumers in Pakistan to urge overseas Pakistanis to send mobile phones without government taxes, which the PTA has now addressed and refuted.

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