Almost all of Pakistan’s 30 mobile phone assembly units, including three foreign brands, have had to shut down due to running out of raw material amid import restrictions, putting the future of some 20,000 employees at risk, according to the Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturers Association (PMPMA). The local mobile phone supply has almost stopped and the markets have started to face shortages. Companies have had to pay employees half of their April salaries in advance and have furloughed their workers. The PMPMA has asked the government to allow the import of parts in a reasonable quantity, which should be enough to let the industry run at half capacity. The industry requires imported parts and components worth $170m a month to operate at full capacity. Manufacturers have stated that the government’s policies that have made it difficult for an importer to get a Letter of Credit (LC) have stopped the imports of key equipment and components used in mobile phone manufacturing.
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