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SC questions GST levy on POL products without Finance Bill approval

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 14, 2013 | Last Updated: 7 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jun 14, 2013 | Last Updated: 7 years ago
SC questions GST levy on POL products without Finance Bill approval

Staff ReportISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday questioned the levy of increased GST on petroleum products without approval of the Finance Bill 2013-14 by the Parliament.The POL rates were raises without any official notification and only on the basis of announcement made by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in his budget speech on June 12.A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who took suo moto notice late on Thursday, heard the case today.Attorney General Malik Munir, and counsels of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and other officials turned up to explain how the proposals, which were part of the finance bill, could be implemented without adoption of the bill by the parliament.During the course of hearing, Chief Justice remarked how sales tax could be imposed without the passage of budget and approval by the President.The AG Malik told the court that interim levy could be collected in advance under an act of 1931, adding that this act is a law of the Parliament. He said that implementation of the act was aimed at preventing the hoarding.To which the CJP said “what will you do if this increased levy was not adopted by the Parliament? Would you return back this money to the people?” The court directed the FBR authorities to present a notification of increase in GST, if there is any.At which, FBR representative said that no notification has been issued, only a declaration of Finance Minister has been issued.OGRA counsel told the court that only a notification of increase in rates of CNG and kerosene oil was issued.At which, the CJP warned that all such notifications could be suspended by the court.The bench also expressed concern over the increased levy on edible oil. “It seems there is no check and balance,” Chief Justice observed.The court later adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.

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