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SC orders govt to stem daily smuggling of 40 million dollars

Directs to bind all petitions pertaining to super tax together and fix them for hearing on Feb 16

February 10, 2023 01:12 PM


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Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial has remarked that every day 40 million dollars are being smuggled out of Pakistan asking the government to take measures to stop dollars’ flight to other countries, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The CJP expressed these remarks on Friday while hearing a case pertaining to the super tax.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court ordered to bind all petitions challenging the super tax together and fix them for hearing next week. 

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial heard the case. 

At the outset of the hearing, the FBR lawyer told the court that the final decision of the Lahore High Court was announced.

FBR lawyer Faisal Siddique said that the LHC had suspended the implementation of the order till the final decision on the case. He said that the apex court often asked the companies to submit 50% of the payment in tax cases. 

However, the companies lawyer Ferogh Naseem contended that after the release of the final decision of the high court in the case, the FBR petitions had become ineffective. The court could not order for the imposition of 50% super tax after the petitions were rendered ineffective, he maintained. 

CJP Bandial suggested to fix the hearing of the case next week remarking that the FBR came to the court in the super tax matter with good intention. He said that the court knew that the Shell already paid millions in taxes. 

Faisal Siddique said that today he was representing the FBR but if Pakistan defaulted, he would be representing the federation.

The chief justice of Pakistan did not agree with his views, saying that the country would not default. He remarked that everyone should improve one’s behaviour for the good of the country. He observed that government should take measures to stop daily smuggling of 40 million dollars to other countries. 

After that, the court adjourned the case till Feb 16.

During its previous hearing on Tuesday (Feb 7), the Supreme Court modified an interim order of the Lahore High Court and directed wealthy taxpayers to deposit their 50 per cent due super tax directly with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) within one week.

Taxpayers had challenged the imposition of super tax with retrospective effect for the tax year 2022 and onward before the LHC.

The LHC stayed the recovery proceeding and directed FBR to allow different industries to file their returns excluding the super tax subject to the deposit of post-dated cheques of the differential amount.

However, the LHC order of Sept 29, 2022 was challenged in the Supreme Court by the FBR. 

Through the Finance Act 2022, the government has imposed a super tax on high-earning persons by inserting a new section 4C in the income tax ordinance. Through the section, FBR imposed a 10pc super tax on 13 sectors earning more than Rs150 million from tax year 2022.

The sectors are steel, banking, cement, cigarettes, chemicals, beverages, and liquefied natural gas terminals, airlines, textile, automobile, sugar mills, oil and gas, and fertiliser.

 

Reporter Amanat Gishkori



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