ISLAMABAD — Chinese passengers on Friday took a strong exception to the imposition of customs duty on mobile phones and registered a protest against it at the Islamabad International Airport.
The passengers who were carrying expensive gadgets lay down on the floor of the airport as a protest against the tax introduced by incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government to shore up reserves and repair the faltering economy.
Lei Zhentao and Lian Zhenfu had arrived in Islamabad from Urumqi via China Southern Airlines flight CZ6007.
The duo was stopped for carrying six mobile phones and in accordance with the set customs policy charged asked them to pay $285 in duties and taxes on four handsets.
As per the new ‘mobile tax policy’ announced by the government, foreign visitors and travellers returning to Pakistan can only bring one handset duty-free while for additional devices, they have to pay applicable taxes to avail service in the South Asian country after 30 days.
Zhentao and Zhenfu after paying the hefty amount as tax lay down on the floor and blocked the exit gate of International arrivals to record their protest.
According to them, they travel to Pakistan several times a year and should not have to pay the duty each time they bring in more than one cellphone.
The Chinese passengers ended their protest only after Airport Security Force personnel informed them that their concerns would be forwarded to the relevant ministry.
The protest was filmed by fellow passengers who found the method amusing and impressive at the same time.
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