The mobile phone import has seen a decline in Ashoj, 2079. The traders had upped their phone business targeting the festive season but the numbers fell again from Bhadra, the latest data from the customs department shows.
As per the data, Nepali traders imported mobile phones worth Rs 2 billion in Ashoj. It’s a decline of over Rs 1 billion from Bhadra in which, handsets worth Rs 3.6 billion entered the Nepali market.
The government has upheld its ban on the import of phones worth $300 and above till Mangsir 29. It’s likely to further derail the business although the trend has been somewhat mixed ever since the ban began.
Traders imported many affordable smartphones into Nepal for the festive season. However, with the end of the longest holiday period, fewer people would knock on stores for new handsets. This could lead to fewer phone imports in the coming weeks on top of the existing phone ban.
As per the data from the customs department, Ashoj was another month of low phone imports. In Bhadra, 2 lakh 62 thousand, 736 units of phones entered Nepal worth 3.60 billion in total. In Ashoj, a total of 1 lakh, 79 thousand, and 525 mobile phones were imported worth Rs 2.35 billion. The government generated only 43 crores, 89 lakh, and 82 thousand in revenue from phone imports. In Bhadra, 67 crores, 32 lakh was collected in government taxes at the customs.
Phone import in Nepal
Rs 2.35 billion
Rs 43.89 crores
Rs 3.6 billion
Rs 67.32 crores
Phone ban working?
The fewer statistics on phone imports hint at the success of the phone ban in Nepal. However, despite the ban, phones worth over $300 are still visible in the market. Meanwhile, bringing phones from abroad without their registration is still not abated. The decline has a pattern of growth and fall and is not necessarily the effect of the ban.
Anyway, expect the latest flagships such as iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro Max, etc. not to arrive in Nepal officially. Be also careful that any phone you get as a gift from abroad or buy from the market can be registered in MDMS to avoid possible blacklisting.
The direct effect of the phone ban is evident in a smaller number of phone imports. However, the restriction is not looking as effective as the government might have aimed.
Stakeholders have contested the decision of the phone ban by the government. They have drawn attention to the continuous entry of grey phones in Nepal and the government’s failure to draw revenue due to the imposition of the phone ban.
The government meanwhile remains adamant that restriction mobile phone import is one good solution to help reverse the worrisome liquidity issue in Nepal.
Is banning the import of mobile phones a remedy to save Nepali current, especially when phones above the restricted price range can also be found in the market? Do offer your perspective in the comments below.