KARACHI- In a bid to facilitate the growth of the IT sector, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has withdrawn the requirement of seeking its approval for the import of computers and related equipment.
PTA has asked the chiefs of Customs (tariff) and Central Board of Revenue (CBR) not to demand PTA’s approval letter from any importer of computer and related equipment.
Sources in the IT sector disclosed, “The PTA a year ago had asked the Customs authorities not to release any computer-related devices, equipment or items till the importer got the same type approved from the authority (PTA) or produced an NOC.”
They quoted PTA’s year old letter that read: “It is requested that the authorities concerned may please be instructed not to release any item of the listed equipment till the importer gets the same type approved from PTA or produces an NOC, as the case may be.”
“Now the authority (PTA) has withdrawn this letter after detailed discussions with stakeholders. The order has become effective from the next day of the issuance of the letter,” said a source.
Importers are now allowed to import terminal equipment including IP devices such as routers, remote access servers, switches, bandwidth controllers, firewalls, IP telephony gateways, cordless telephone sets, fax machines, card pay phone sets, etc.
While citing clause 28 of the PTA (Re-Organisation) Act, 1996, the importers of IT and telecom sector had pleaded that according to the said clause, “the authority could not restrict the type of telecommunication equipment that may be used for the establishment or maintenance of telecommunications”.
The act also states that, “no person may install any telecommunication equipment as part of, or connect terminal equipment (other than by a plug-into-socket connection) to any public switched network except in accordance with regulations made by the authority.”
The Pakistan Customs Act, 1969 neither prohibits the import of telecom equipment into the country nor provides infringement cover to PTA (Re-Organisation) Act, 1996. The Imports and Exports Act, 1950 and its subsequent revisions do not give any powers to PTA to restrict the import of telecom equipment into Pakistan.
Source: The News