Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar has said that the government has started the Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) in collaboration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to end mobile smuggling. Talking to a television channel, he said when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came to power, the mobile smuggling ratio was more than 80% but after starting DIRBS it was reduced significantly and a big increase was witnessed in mobile tax revenue from Rs20 billion to Rs60 billion just in one year. The minister said international mobile firms were willing to make partnerships with local firms and it would be very helpful in increasing mobile exports. He said Pakistan had suitable conditions for mobile manufacturing as compared to other regional countries. Replying to a question, Azhar said auto industry was also being promoted and new brands of cars were being introduced.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2021.

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