The government has raised taxes on computers, laptops, and their accessories at a crucial time when people direly need tech gadgets to educate their children, work from home and attend conferences.
According to a notice issued by the Director-General of Customs Valuation, Karachi, a duty of $70-150 per piece has been imposed on used imported laptops while the levy on CPUs ranges from $25-60 per piece.
“It is a bad decision which will hit education, health and business sectors of the country.”Remarked Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Customs Committee Head Shabbir Mansha Churra.
The Customs authorities announced new quotations for old and used computer systems, laptops, printers, auxiliaries, and accessories of all origins, he elaborated.
Churra further said that sales of tech gadgets had climbed in the past year in the wake of Covid-19 and “short-sighted authorities have viewed it as a chance to increase their income.”
“These products are preowned, which means that they have been discarded by owners in other countries and authorities in Pakistan are taxing the discarded products.”He opposed.
“These days, computers and laptops are more important than ever before because they are being widely used by students for educational purposes across Pakistan,” said Malik Muhammad Yasin, Chairman of Techno City Chapter of Karachi Electronics Dealers Association.
Following the imposition of the duty, CPUs, which earlier cost Rs3,000, will be available for Rs10,000.
“Laptops, which used to start from Rs8,000-10,000, will not be available for less than Rs20,000 now.”He said.
“In such a scenario, how can a person earning Rs20,000 per month afford to buy a computer for his children?”
He further announced that businessmen, affected by the imposition of the duty, would challenge the decision in the high court in a day or two.
Pakistan Software Houses Association President Jehan Ara tweeted on Friday, “If you (government) really want to make this country a truly digital country, do not tax mobile phones or computers or laptops.”