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Business

November 18, 2015

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SHC directs SSGC to collect Rs4.1 billion sales tax from CNG stations

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to collect outstanding dues of Rs4.1 billion as sales tax from the CNG stations and deposit it to the national exchequer, sources in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said on Tuesday.
The SHC disposed of the case in an appeal filed by the gas utility against the recovery of Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi and counter-contempt appeal filed by both the parties.
The court ordered that the SSGC should collect the outstanding amount from CNG stations and on non-compliance the gas utility should disconnect the supply to such units.
The parties had moved the court after an order of the SHC on the dispute of sales tax collection.
The order was passed in the case where CNG stations had moved the SHC following the amendments notified on March 23, 2014 through a presidential order promulgating Sales Tax Amendment Ordinance, 2014.
As per the ordinance, the rate of sales tax was imposed at 17 percent, covering net "value addition" tax on CNG stations on the basis of sale price fixed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).
However, CNG associations rejected the formula, saying the move would increase the CNG prices, as the government slapped additional 17 percent tax on the stations.
After the settlement of this case, the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi issued notices to SSGC to pay the balanced amount of Rs4.1 billion of the total Rs9 billion. The remaining amount was defrayed.
On denial by SSGC to pay the amount, the LTU Karachi attached the bank accounts of the gas utility to recover the amount.
The sources said since SSGC is a withholding agent, collecting sales tax and income tax on behalf of the FBR, it is responsible for making payment to the tax authorities just like all the gas and electricity utilities in the country.
They said SSGC was to deduct the tax from the monthly bills of CNG stations.
The sources said that during the

proceedings on the petition of CNG stations, the court ordered payment of the differential amount to Nazir of the court.
Sources in the tax department said the amount has been deposited with the Nazir; however, it is negligible – less than Rs100 million.
A SSGC spokesman said the utility company had already clarified its position on the issue, as the disputed / remaining amount claimed by the LTU was never deposited with the SSGC, but with the Nazir as per the court’s specific interim order.
“In light of the above submission, it is evident that SSGC is not liable to collect the disputed amount after the judgment passed by the court, dismissing 43 petitions on the subject," the spokesman said.
The LTU sources said that the unit would collect the remaining amount from the SSGC by next month.

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