ISLAMABAD  -   The pre-paid mobile phone users will now get a top-up of Rs88.9 instead of Rs76.94 on a recharge of Rs100, as the Supreme Court on Monday barred mobile network companies from charging additional taxes.

The top court ordered the mobile phone service providers to remove service/maintenance charges thereby providing a relief of Rs11.95 on a Ra100 recharge. The court however told them that they could continue charging the withholding tax.

In June 2018, an SC bench headed by then CJP Saqib Nisar had suspended the deduction of taxes imposed on the top-up of prepaid cards by cellphone service providers and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). He had questioned how a person who doesn’t fall within tax net is made to pay taxes on mobile phone recharge. Tax should be levied from a person whose cell phone use exceeds the fixed limit, he had said.

However, during one of the hearings later, the court was told that the state had suffered a loss of about Rs90 billion since the issuance of the suspension order.

On April 27, therefore, the apex court had reinstates taxes on mobile phone cards after which the consumers received only Rs77.19 on a recharge of Rs100. Now the court has told the companies to levy withholding tax but barred them from imposing any kind of service or maintenance charges on the pre-paid connection consumers.