An appreciable step by CJP

THOUGH certain elements criticise CJP Saqib Nisar for interfering in the work of Executive but the fact of the matter is that he is only taking up the matters where the federal and provincial governments failed to protect interests of the public. The latest example is apex court’s judgment on Monday in which it suspended deduction of exorbitant taxes on prepaid mobile cards.
In fact when the CJP had taken suo motu notice of the matter, it was widely appreciated by the people both on the streets and on the social media. Now taking a step further by ordering suspension of deduction of taxes, he in fact has won the hearts of common man. In fact, it is the responsibility of elected governments to give such relief to the poor masses yet to the contrary promises are made by political parties to this effect before the election but when they come to power, they overburden the people with more indirect taxes. The high ratio of indirect taxes as compared to direct taxes is a clear proof that how civilian democratic governments give cushion to affluent class and make the life of poor people miserable. As far as case of tax deduction on mobile cards is concerned, almost Rs 40 were being deducted on charge of Rs 100 pre-paid mobile card and in the face of this excessive taxation, the people were demanding a fair tax cut. In fact a few years back, only ten to fifteen rupees were being deducted on Rs 100 recharge but with increase in mobile phone users which according to some estimates currently stand at 144 million people, the government considered it as a good source of revenue and started levying different taxes under one pretext or another.
We are not against collection of tax on mobile phone card but it should be rational and in fact the CJP has also shown the path when he stated that the taxes should be taken from users whose mobile phone usage is above the set limit. Indeed those who are spending more time on the mobile phones should be made liable for more taxes as against the current practice under which the cellular companies are encouraging the youth to use more mobile by offering them special evening/night packages. In keeping with the orders of the apex court, we expect that the cellular companies will immediately formulate a mechanism. Similarly, we will also pray the CJP to also direct the companies to revise downward the broadband rates for easy access of Internet to our youth and students.

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