–Chief Justice Nisar says will re-impose tax ‘if people of Pakistan allow us’
–Expresses hope that ‘one day, all four provinces will agree on construction of Kalabagh Dam’
–Says he will leave dam fund in ‘safe hands’ before he retires
LONDON: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday proposed to restore tax on prepaid mobile phone cards to collect funds for the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Addressing a dam fundraising ceremony, held by UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in London, the chief justice said that it will not be appropriate to impose taxes for the dam funds, however, the court earlier suspended the withholding tax on recharge of prepaid mobile phone cards by service providers and learned that Rs3 billion were saved per month through the suspension.
“If the people of Pakistan allow us then we will re-impose the tax on the mobile phone cards and collect money for dams,” the CJP said.
The chief justice urged the nation to give their viewpoint on the proposal stating, “people should apprise us with their thoughts over this proposal.”
Terming it “criminal negligence” on part of the previous leaders for not constructing “uncontroversial” dams, Justice Nisar said that a dam needs to be constructed on every inch of the Indus River.
He also expressed hope that “one day, all four provinces will agree on construction of Kalabagh Dam”.
The top judge also instructed the nation to take practical steps in order to save water from being wasted, adding that climate change reduced rains across the world, including Pakistan, which resulted in a sharp decrease in the underground water level.
CJP Nisar further said that water crises in Karachi made him realise the gravity of the issue. “Tanker mafia and some others sections have been controlling the supply of water in the metropolis while the underground water level is decreasing in Quetta and Lahore as well,” he added.
“I want to do this for our future generation,” CJP Nisar said, adding that the construction of dams is a campaign for humanity, and not just for Pakistan.
He reiterated that he will protect each and every penny of the fund and he will “leave the money in safe hands” before he retires.
“No one will be allowed to interfere in the funds being collected for the construction of dams,” he vowed.
“I will form a company to ensure this,” he said, adding that these funds are a loan from the nation and he will hand them over to a trustworthy man before retiring.
He termed the dams fund campaign a big success as people of all age groups were taking part in the activity. The chief justice was pleased to learn that the Sikh community from foreign countries, transgender community and other minorities also donated in the fund.
He thanked the government and those who contributed to the dams fund.
The chief justice is currently visiting the United Kingdom to raise funds for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.