Earlier in May, we heard that Chief Justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, has taken a Sou Motu notice on lavish taxes on mobile cards. To put things in order, a 100 PKR card would load almost 70 PKR to a user’s account and the rest would be deducted as Withholding Tax and GST. Now, in the latest hearing of this case, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has ordered mobile telecommunication companies to suspend all taxes effective from 12am, June 13th, 2018,. The tax suspension will be held for 15 days and the future of this tax deduction or exemption will be decided on the basis of upcoming hearing.

Prior to this order, consumers were paying almost 42% tax on balance cards which included 19.5 percent Federal Excise Duty (FED), 12.5 percent With Holding Tax (WHT) and 10 percent service/ maintenance charges. Although we have seen the emergence of social applications like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger for calling, a major portion of Pakistani population still relies on traditional calls to connect with each other. SMS and Calls are very expensive, data is bound to get cheaper as more and more people migrate to 3G/4G enabled smartphones.

I think its a very appreciable act among others carried out by our Chief Justice of Pakistan. I, as a citizen, Thankyou for this.

SYED SHAFIN AHMED,

Karachi, June 14.