Ban on used computer imports: Step seen hurting IT education -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Ban on used computer imports: Step seen hurting IT education

By Hina Mahgul Rind

KARACHI: The Computer importers, dealers, and representative body of IT education institutes have rejected the proposed ban on import of used computers and paraphernalia, asserting that it will deprive IT institutes and students from acquiring cheap equipment.

The chief executive of local computer assembling firm said that they don’t have any issue with import of used computers as the market was divided into various segment with each catering to its targeted clientele.

The Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) General Secretary Arshad Janjua while talking to The News said that PCA rejected the proposed ban on the import of used computers and IT accessories being considered at ministry of information technology, which he claimed, was on behest of some vested interest groups.

Janjua said that the reason given to ban import of used computers that it is an environmental hazard and it is adding more pollution in the environment.

There are thousands of things, which are dangerous to health and environment and generating pollution but nothing is being done to control them.

Only to ban the import of used computers is a conspiracy of some vested interest group only to benefit the multinational companies dealing in new computers. The move would take computers out of the range of students and affect livelihood of thousands of vendors dealing in used computers.

The PCA general secretary said that at present, there is no indigenous manufacture of computers and IT equipment. All computers used and new are being imported.

He added that Pakistan was a third world country where 80 per cent consumers buy second-hand computers.

“Multinational companies are trying to get a ban imposed on import of second-hand computers to capture the market, but the government should realize that a large number of people cannot afford to buy a new computer costing between Rs25,000 and Rs45,000,” Arshad Janjua said adding that the price of a used desktop PC ranged between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000.

The ban would deprive a large segment of students of their right to modern education, he said. A local computer manufacturer Viper Technology CEO Khushnood Aftab said, “We have no issues with import of used computers, because Viper believes our market is already divided into two segments.”

As local computer manufacturers (LCM) it is our responsibility to introduce new technology in our country. We also have local computer manufacturers / assemblers that are not getting fair share of limelight. LCM have fair share in the IT market and are catering at a vast level.

Aftab added that LCMs play a vital role; firstly, there are local assemblers of computers in Pakistan, such as Viper, Inbox, Optimum, Raffles, etc. The local companies serve both the retail and the corporate segment with employment around 250 persons per firm.
Source: The News
Date:3/18/2010