The import of mobile handsets has registered a decline and reached US $ 60 million (Rs 6.1 billion in August 2015 as compared with $ 66.7 million (Rs 6.6 billion) recorded during same month last year.

The equipment for network up-gradation also showed a sharp decline in imports by a whooping 36 percent during the reported month.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in Jul-Aug 2015, the overall imports of handsets dropped to 8 percent standing at US $ 105 million (Rs 10.7 billion) compared with previous year’s period in which it stood at US $ 115 million (Rs 11.4 billion).

The imports of mobile handsets may recover their growth after few months due to introduction of various handsets in the local market along with competition among brands but the ongoing growth in smartphone will get curtailed with a margin of at least 8-10pc due to new taxes that were introduced this year.

The imports of mobile apparatus also showed a drop of 36 percent which has been portrayed as a slowdown in activities of mobile phone companies for upgrading their network for introducing Next Generation Technologies in different cities. The figures revealed that imports of mobile apparatus decreased to $ 55 million (Rs 5.6 billion) in August 2015 from $ 87 million (Rs 8.7 billion) during August 2014.

In Jul-Aug 2015, the overall imports of telecom equipment declined significantly by 46 percent to stand at US $ 87.8 million (Rs 8.9 billion) as against values of previous year which stood at US $ 164 million (Rs 16.3 billion).

The experts on Monday said the imports expense of mobile phone companies have further increased after depreciation of rupee against dollar, hence the present downward trend in imports of infrastructure is likely to persist in coming months.