LHC extends stay on tax on international incoming calls till Nov 30, 2012
Court allowed overseas Pakistanis to become party in the case
Lahore (TheNews / Thursday, November 15, 2012) – Lahore High Court on Wednesday once again extended stay on recovery of an additional tax levied by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on incoming international telephone calls and allowed the overseas Pakistanis to become a necessary party in the case.
Saad Saleem’s petition on behalf of Pakistanis expatriates
Lahore High Court issued the order on a petition moved by Saad Saleem on behalf of Pakistanis expatriates and contended that they were financially overburdened after the levy of additional tax on the international calls made to Pakistan. He also pleaded that the cancellation of the impugned tax be termed illegal.
Proceedings Adjourned till Friday, November 30, 2012
The court adjourned the hearing of the case till November 30 and directed counsels of petitioners to come up with more arguments.
Initially, a private company “Brain Telecommunication” had filed the main petition challenging the levy of the additional tax. The petitioner-company stated that the additional tax on the incoming international calls was a violation of the rules prescribed in section 4 of the Competition Commission Act which prohibited the price fixing and division of market through quotas.
It said the CCP was mandated to provide free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti competitive behavior. The petitioner said the Commission had also objected to levy the additional tax but the PTA had ignored the reservations.
The petitioner said the overseas Pakistanis had been facing immense difficulty and financial loss due to the ‘illegal’ additional tax. After the levy of the said tax since October 1, 2012 Pakistanis living abroad had been paying four times extra charges on a phone call made to the homeland.
The petitioner requested the court to term the impugned tax unlawful and restrain the PTA from collecting the same.