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Maryam’s petition against income support levy disposed of

Lahore

May 21, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday disposed of a petition filed by PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz challenging a notice by the Inland Revenue department of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for recovery of income support levy.

Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh of the high court directed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter to file an appeal challenging a single bench’s verdict in this regard. Maryam’s lawyer contended before the court that the recovery of income support levy was violation of the country’s Constitution.

It is up to the provincial social welfare department to work towards the public welfare and that the Inland Revenue department lacked authority to impose and recover a tax in the name of social protection after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, he added.

The counsel said his client had been asked to pay income support levy on her assets worth more than Rs317 million and demanded that the impugned notice be declared illegal and unlawful. It is noteworthy that Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz has also challenged a notice issued to him for recovery of income support levy.

The PML-N leader through his counsel had contended that the tax was an amount recovered by the government to meet its public welfare targets. Social welfare is a provincial subject under the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, he added. The petitioner argued that the federal government does not have the authority to pass any legislation on the social welfare of the public at large.

After the 18th Amendment the right to legislate about the social welfare issues has been devolved to provinces and that if any such legislation is to be passed, it is within the domain of the provincial legislature, he added.

The petitioner pleaded to the court to declare recovery of the Income Support Levy by the Inland Revenue department void.

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