Discriminatory taxes on people can’t be allowed: CJP

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Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has remarked that the court could not allow discriminatory treatment to poor consumers in the form of additional tax on petroleum products.

Presiding over a three-member SC bench during the course of hearing of charging of additional tax on petroleum products on Wednesday, he said “Whatsoever the government says the poor consumers have to pay, additional tax or other taxes. Additional tax doubles the burden on the people. Meting out discriminatory treatment to the people cannot be allowed. Why should people bear the burden of additional taxes when benefit is taken by someone else?”

Rana Shamim Siddiqui, counsel for FBR, said the bureau had challenged court’s order dated June 21, 2012 and filed review petition in this connection. A short order was issued meanwhile.

Ikram Chaudhry read out the order which directed depositing additional sales tax collected from the people with registrar SC. Twenty-six percent sales tax was charged on CNG while one percent tax was charged on petroleum products.

Justice Jawad S Khawaja remarked, “Ambit of review is restricted,” while the CJP said, “Will the attorney general (AG) present statistics with reference to prices?”

The AG said he would present comparative review of the prices.

The CJP said the government had to protect fundamental rights and Articles 9, 25 and others would have to be kept in view.

The AG said companies paid tax with reference to the CNG sector, while CNG station wieners paid none. “Tax is recovered from consumers,” he said.

The CJP said the SC had kept the case for hearing for the reason that tax was charged from the people and CNG stations benefited still.

“We don’t want discriminatory treatment meted out to the people. We have fixed for hearing the most important cases during the month of Ramadan and the case of levying of additional tax on petroleum products is also included therein.”

The AG said cost of production of CNG was more than Rs 47. “How much benefit is to be given to a company and how much amount is to be paid to dealers is decided by OGRA, while the FBR has to decide about the tax rate.”

The CJP remarked, “You have declared the tax matter just from July 1, 2013 by making amendments in the constitution. Obviously it does not look correct because constitution does not allow you to do so.”

“The AG should tell up to what extent tax was recovered from consumers. No tax is charged to stock exchange despite the fact business of billions of rupees takes place there. That is a taxable activity,” he added.

The AG said, “We will provide you tax profile. Please allow us some time.”

The court also heard a petition filed by Shahid Orakzai in which he challenged the imposition of levy through presidential ordinance.

The court ordered that Orakzai’s petition be heard along with the case on August 1.

Allowing time until August 1 to AG Munir A Malik to file necessary documents, the court adjourned the hearing.

10 COMMENTS

  1. NO ARMY DICTATORSHIP OR CIVIL ELECTED DEMOCRATIC REGIME IS SINCERE FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEMS BEING FACED BY POOR.A MNA OR PMA IS REWARDED TICKET BY FURNISHING BILLIONS OF BILLIONS OF RUPEES TO GET A SEAT FOR THE ELECTION.COMING IN POWER,THEY HAVE TO RECOVER THEIR AMOUNTS WITH INTERESTS FROM THE POOR PEOPLE IN SHAPE OF HEAVY TAXES.IT IS PROPOSED QAZI SYSTEM MAY BE INTRODUCED IN PAKISTAN.AS QAZIS ARE MOST SINCERE AND HONEST SECTION OF PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY.LET GET RID OF ARMY DICTATORSHIP.SO-CALLED DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNMENT MUST BE RUN BY JUDICIARY IN PAKISTAN.

  2. Sorry to say the honorable CJ never took notice of the violation of article 62; may be it does not affects the poor

  3. This country needs the ironic hands to remove corruption from this country… at least top most corrupt people must be eleminated…

  4. Discriminatory decisions are however permitted as was done in the case of Presidential Election date.

  5. Military Generals did better than civil dictators for Pakistani economy Civil dictators failed to deliver for masses. Poor people are suffering and higher bracket people do not pay taxes Who is going to make sure that taxes are collected and put in the treasury Justice for all and no discriminatory policies. They will harm the country

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