Imposition of Rs700b taxes through ordinance illegal: Ahsan

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Will not let SBP become
a subsidiary of IMF


Ijaz Kakakhel
Islamabad

Pakistan Muslims League-N leader Ahsan Iqbal on Monday termed the imposition of Rs700 billion taxes through an ordinance was against the Constitution of Pakistan and called it breach of the parliament.

At the beginning of the national assembly session, the PML-N leader said according to constitution of Pakistan, it is prerogative of this House that no tax will be imposed, reviewed, etc, without proper discussion and approval by elected representative of the people of National Assembly.

All elected MNAs took the oath to protect and safeguard and run the government affairs according to the constitution of Pakistan.

Any type of money bill, including imposition of news taxes was the privilege of national assembly to be passed, discussed or even reject it.

If the government imposes new taxes through an ordinance, then it would present national budget also through an ordinance. “This is not the way to run the government”, Ahsan Iqbal regretted.

According to the rules “the money bill shall be passed by national assembly only”, therefore, he said after the word “shall” all other doors shut down.

He asked the Speaker that it was a constitutional matter and required proper ruling from the chair because you are the custodian of this house.

He said the government should withdraw the ordinance and furnish the tax proposals before the National Assembly for discussion and approval.

Ahsan Iqbal also said that the incumbent government was selling off Pakistan’s sovereignty.

He vowed that the opposition will not let State Bank of Pakistan become a subsidiary of the IMF.

He said that Article 73 of the constitution says that imposing new taxes or changing present ones is done through a money bill, which cannot be enacted through a presidential ordinance.

It is unconstitutional to impose Rs700 billion taxes through an ordinance. He added that if any new taxation is to be introduced, it should be presented before the elected representatives in the National Assembly and the taxes imposed through ordinance should be withdrawn.

Another PML-N leader Khurram Dastagir said no taxation without representation, meaning that no tax will be imposed without discussion from people’s representatives.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar regretted that the previous governments ruined the tax system of the country by introducing tax measures through SROs.

Responding to the points raised by Ahsan Iqbal, he said the present government has not taken any unconstitutional step vis-à-vis tax measures.

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