KATMANDU, Oct.30 (Xinhua) – Nepal imported significantly more cellphones in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021-22 from mid-July, accounting for nearly half of total fiscal year imports. previous, according to data from the Nepalese department. customs revealed.
Mobile devices worth 17.17 billion Nepalese rupees (US $ 142.86 million) were imported in the first three months of the current fiscal year as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, representing 46.53% of the total imports of the previous year.
In contrast, Nepal imported 11.1 billion rupees ($ 92.36 million) of mobile devices in the first quarter of last fiscal year, according to the department.
“The pandemic has forced many people to buy cell phones for study and work, creating more demand for mobile devices in the country,” Punya Bikram Khadka, chief information officer at the department, told Xinhua.
“Even the poor who could not afford cell phones were forced to buy them to allow their children to study online, as schools had been closed for months due to COVID-19,” Khadka said.
While some schools reopened in the Kathmandu Valley in mid-September, several remained closed in central Kathmandu. Outside the valley, most of the schools have reopened.
“Teaching, assigning homework and receiving homework and homework assignments were all done online, so cell phones or computers were needed for each family with students,” said Ritu Raj Sapkota, president. of the National Association of Private Schools and Boarding Schools.
Many families have bought cell phones instead of more expensive laptops due to a shortage of chips around the world, Sapkota noted.
Nepalese officials believed the government’s efforts to control smuggling had also contributed to the importation of an increasing number of mobile devices.
Since the start of the current fiscal year, the Nepalese Telecommunications Authority has introduced a system banning service on cell phones smuggled into the country.
“I think this measure taken to discourage cell phone smuggling has also led to increased imports of cell phones through legal channels,” Khadka said.
According to customs data, China and India were the biggest sources of cellphones for Nepal.
Mobile devices worth 10.11 billion rupees ($ 84.12 million) and 6.47 billion rupees ($ 53.83 million), respectively, were imported from the two neighbors during the first quarter. of the current fiscal year.