High taxes on prepaid mobile bills amount to exploitation: CJP

The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday remarked that such high tax deductions on prepaid mobile services amount to exploitation.
The top court resumed the hearing of the suo motu notice of increased tax reductions on prepaid mobile services. A four-member bench, headed by the CJP, conducted the hearing. The court advised all mobile phone companies to submit responses within a week.The bench demanded a clarification whether the withholding taxes were being collected as per the law. “The law for withholding taxes appears to be imperfect,” the top judge remarked. “Withholding taxes cannot be levied on any labourer who earns up Rs100 a day. How can we collect withholding taxes from daily wage earners?” he added.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan added: “The companies deduct 42 per cent in tax before the consumer can even make his first call.”Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked: “A comparative analysis is also needed to ascertain how much taxes are being collected by mobile phone companies operating in other countries.”The bench also issued notices to all provincial and federal authorities. The hearing has been adjourned until next week. The Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Syed Ashtar Ausaf Ali submitted details of all taxes levied on consumers of cellular services.
The top judge also hinted towards a suo motu on taxes placed on diesel.