The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered on Wednesday for amendments to be made in the declaration made by the Finance Ministry for increase of sales tax on POL products.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing of suo motu notice taken over the increase in POL prices after an increase of General Sales Tax was announced.

The finance ministry had issued a declaration increasing POL prices to curb ‘hoarding’ of petroleum products after an increase of one per cent General Sales Tax was announced during the recently held budget session.

Giving his remarks Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that not even the President of Pakistan was authorised to impose any tax and that the the increase in GST was illegal.

The Federal Bureau of Revenue submitted during the hearing the list of items exempted from tax, according to which 70 items including eatables and medicines was exempted from imposition of tax.

Counsel for Oil and gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Advocate Salman Akram Raja and Attorney General of Pakistan Munir A Malik submitted that the government could increase GST on any product under according to the “Provisional Collection of Taxes Act-1931”.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry replied that no law could be adopted which was repugnant to fundamental human rights.

He further said that the public would not be made to bear the additional burden under the guise of British-era laws adding that colonial system of 1931 did not prevail in the country.

Justice Iftikhar further remarked that the increase in GST had resulted in an increase of all commodities forcing out billions of rupees out of the consumers' pockets.

The next hearing over the case was adjourned until Thursday (June 20).