LAHORE: In a major development, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended the additional tax on the mobile phone cards. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered the suspension while heading a three-judge bench hearing a suo motu case regarding an increase in taxes on pre-paid scratch cards at the top court’s Lahore Registry here on Monday.
Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar gave mobile phone companies two days to implement court’s order. He also ordered to devise a comprehensive policy regarding tax on the mobile phone cards.
Chief Justice said that collecting funds from persons, outside the tax net is illegal. “Taxes should be taken from users whose mobile phone usage is above the set limit,” Justice Nisar remarked during the hearing.
He further directed authorities to draft a comprehensive policy regarding deduction of taxes on mobile phone usage. “Service providers and Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) charge taxes on pre-paid scratch cards and are looting people,” the bench remarked. “How are taxes being charged from those who do not fall in the tax network?” the bench asked the FBR chairman.
The bench further stated, “It is illegal that Rs64.38 are charged as taxes on a Rs100 pre-paid scratch card.” To this, Justice Ijazul Hasan asked the FBR chairman, “How can you take taxes from a hawker?”
Last month, the CJP had ordered federal and provincial governments and the FBR to respond as to why so many taxes were being deducted on pre-paid scratch cards.