Centre, provinces asked to submit details of tax collected on mobile top-up

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday sought details from the federal and provincial governments regarding tax collection from mobile service companies during the last fiscal year.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, during a proceeding of the case, inquired that why a vendor, labourer, plumber or barber should pay tax on mobile phone top-ups.

“How can the government decide who would pay mobile tax and who won’t,” he stated. “How a person who didn’t fall in required criteria could be bound to pay withholding tax?”

A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, conducted hearing on the case related to extra tax collection from mobile companies.

Justice Isa asked whether this matter comes under Article of 184(3) [matter of fundamental rights] of the constitution.

At this, the attorney general pleaded before the bench that this was not a matter of public interests and didn’t fall in matters of basic human rights. Justice Isa remarked that according to federal and provincial governments, the mobile tax collection didn’t fall under Article of 184(3) of Constitution.

However, the counsel for mobile companies argued that his client companies had removed the 10pc service charges on customers in compliance with the apex court orders in this regard.

During the hearing, Justice Isa observed that earlier, a three-member bench of the top court had ordered to suspend the tax collection and it would be better if a bench with the same strength would hear this matter now.

The representative of Punjab government contended that revenue of Rs80 billion couldn’t be collected due to the suspension of tax collection.

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