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January 22, 2015

IHC moved against increase in GST on POL products


January 22, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Justice Amir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here Wednesday issued notices to the respondents in a matter where a petitioner had challenged the federal government SRO for increasing General Sales Tax (GST) on petroleum (POL) products from 17 to 22 percent.
Petitioner Muhammad Mazhar Qayyum has nominated federation of Pakistan through secretary of Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, chairman of Federal Board of Revenue, and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority through its chairman as respondents.
IHC bench directed respondents to submit reply and put of this matter with date in office.The petitioner has maintained that he is associated with goods forwarding business in Islamabad and increase in GST affects his business, that federal government on December 30, 2014 through an SRO announced imposition of 22 percent GST on petroleum products, that the forcible imposition of 5 percent GST in addition to already prevailing 17 percent on petroleum products by the respondents is totally unconstitutional and illegal.
The petitioner contended that the increase in GST or any other tax could only be levied under Article 77 of the Constitution that says, “No tax shall be levied for the purpose of the Federation except by or under the authority of Act of Majlis-e-Shoora/Parliament.”
The petitioner further contended that taxation through any executive order was unconstitutional in view of Article 162, that the present move of federation to increase the GST on petroleum products also violated the Supreme Court rulings. That if the instant illegal act of the respondent is not set aside by the court, the petitioner and public at large would suffer irreparable economic and financial loss.The petitioner has prayed to the court to declare the December 30, 2014 announcement as illegal and unconstitutional.

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