Supreme Court suspended ‘exorbitant tax deductions’ on prepaid mobile cards
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended tax collection on mobile cards here on Monday.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar gave two days for the order to be implemented at a hearing of the suo motu case at the apex court’s Lahore Registry. “Rs38.08 are deducted on a prepaid mobile card of Rs100,” CJP Nisar remarked. “This is illegal.”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan said a policy on levying tax ought to be formulated. “How can a hawker be brought into the tax net?” he said.
Taking notice of deductions as tax, the Supreme Court in May had sought replies from all telecommunication companies and Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali.
Last month, CJP Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the high levy charged on mobile phone cards in the country as he asked under which law Rs40 were being deducted from Rs100 mobile cards.
A three-member bench of the SC heard the suo motu case at the Lahore Registry. The CJ observed that there should be a difference between those who pay their taxes and the evaders.
At present, as per some reports, on the charge of a Rs100 pre-paid mobile card, a 19.5 percent Federal Excise Duty (FED) is charged along with 12.5 percent withholding tax and 10 percent service/maintenance charge.
According to statistics revealed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in January this year, the number of mobile phone users stands at 144 million as compared to 142.5 million in October 2017.