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Mobile Phones Import Declines After the ‘No LC’ Policy

Mobile phone import has declined in the first 10 months of FY 2078/79. According to the customs department, the volume of imports sharply fell in the year-to-year comparison. The government has issued a no LC ban on luxury goods including expensive phones which has directly shown the effect on mobile phone trading.

The figures show that till Baisakh of the current FY 078/79, 53 lakh, 65 thousand, 115 mobile phones were brought in Nepal. This marked a steep fall of 1 million the year to year compared to the previous year.

In comparison, 63 lakh, 55 thousand, and 234 phones were shipped to Nepal till Baisakh of 077/78.

Mobile phones import
(first 10 months)  
Units importedTotal cost
FY 078/7953.65 lakh36.94 billion
FY 077/7863.55 lakh32.09 billion

Phones import decline but the more cash spent

However, despite the number of phones imported having significantly decreased, the amount spent on the phones imported has increased. Nepali traders have spent 4 billion more on mobile phones than last year’s same duration.

In the first ten months of this FY, Nepali traders spent 36 billion, 94 crores on mobile phones. While in the last FY, phones worth 32 billion, and 9 crores were brought to Nepal.

Also read: Xiaomi & Redmi Mobile Price in Nepal | Detailed Specs

Our take

The government has banned LC on phones that cost $600 above with an objective to conserve dollar reserves. But the contradictory result has indeed not turned in the desired stats. Now the policy may require a logical review.

Nepal is a mid-range smartphone market. Many people seek budget phones in the lower to moderately priced phones with only a few choosing high-end flagship phones. Restricting the phones costing $600 or above is likely to have a less positive result for the government.

Back in April, the government of Nepal told commercial banks not to issue LC on phones costing over $600. The temporary ban will stay till the end of the current fiscal year.  

Do you think the government must implement a harder restriction on mobile phone import to save dollars or are you fine with the current policy? Do share your vital inputs in the comments below.

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