ISLAMABAD - The imposition of tax on mobile phone sets has declined the sale of modern age facility to a great extent, TheNation learnt on Saturday during a visit to the cell phone markets. The mobile phone traders had criticised the government's decision to impose flat tax rate of Rs 500 on import of mobile phone sets. "The poor are paying more taxes as compared to the richest people who imported latest phones," the market sources told the scribe. The mobile companies have witnessed eight to nine per cent reduction in usage of mobile phone owing to increased taxation, TheNation learnt. The heavy taxation imposed by the government in the budget 2008-09 is all set to hamper the growth of the cellular industry in the current fiscal year. The government has estimated that approximately Rs 3 billion would be achieved through imposition of taxes on the mobile phones. Muhammad Shahid, an owner of a mobile shop at Raja Bazar, while talking to TheNation, said, "Before the budget our business was on the peak but now we are waiting all the day for the customers as mobile are much expensive. He further said that the government should withdraw the tax on mobile phone sets and should impose tax on luxury goods as mobile is no more a luxury. The demand of local mobile phones has increased after the budget and imported cell phones have lost its market. On the other hand, the local cell phones have not the same qualities like the imported ones, he added. The cell phone was only the luxury for the poor segment of the society but thanks to the present democratic government, which also kept them away from this. Saeed Ajmal in Aabpara Market said that by imposing tax on mobile phones the desired results could not be achieved by the government, as the people now prefer to purchase the second hand mobile phones. He said before budget the mobile phone sets of international company were available at around Rs 1,500, which the poor people could easily purchase but now its rates rose to Rs 2,500.