SC restores telecom tax on mobile phone cards in Pakistan

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has restored all taxes on mobile phone cards in Pakistan withdrawing the earlier suspension order. The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Wednesday, while giving a short order, announced the return of telecom tax on mobile phone cards in the country.

Chief Justice of Pakistan stated, “The reason will be recorded later. All the interim orders for suspension of taxes are withdrawn and all taxes will be intact.”

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During the court proceedings, it was debated whether the tax-related matters can be heard under Article 184-3. Justice Qazi Faez Isa also questioned whether the Supreme Court can invoke suo motu jurisdiction in tax matters. Finally, it was concluded that the apex court cannot issue orders related to taxation.

In June 2018, former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar suspended telecom tax on mobile cards in Pakistan after taking a suo motu notice. On Monday, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also revealed to the court that the suspension of one point of tax collection has cost Rs. 90 billion to the national exchequer.

The top court has disposed of the case and has withdrawn its earlier orders on the suspension of telecom tax on mobile phone cards in Pakistan. Now once again, the people who do not fall into the tax bracket will have to pay taxes when to use telecom services in the country.

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