Kathmandu, December 11
The customs data show that Nepal imported two million and 190,825 sets of mobile phones in the first four months of the current fiscal year. The importers have spent Rs 14.15 billion on them, added by customs charges of Rs 2.25 billion.
In the same period last year, the country imported two million and 112 phones, spending Rs 8.62 billion on them and Rs 1.36 billion on taxes.
It means the number of phone sets imported rose by 9.54 per cent but the expenditure on them by 64 per cent in one year.
Dikesh Malhotra, the president and CEO of IMS Group, the authorised distributor of Samsung mobiles for Nepal, says the excessive increase in the expenditure is attributed to people’s need for smartphones amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Everyone gave up their bar phones and chose smart ones, making this situation,” he says, adding, in general, bar phones are cheaper than smartphones.
In the yesteryear, the phone market in Nepal would lose its excitement after Dashain and Tihar festivals. However, the demand for phones is static this year.
“It has been difficult for us to meet the demand for phones in Rs 10,000-Rs 30,000 range,” Ram Sharan Risal, a trader based in New Road, says.