News Desk |
Mobile phone users will now receive a top-up of Rs88.9 instead of Rs76.94 on a scratch card of Rs100 or the easy load of the same amount.
According to media reports, the change has come after cellular service providers have started implementing a Supreme Court order which has directed them to remove service/maintenance charges on prepaid cellular scratch cards.
Earlier in lieu of various fees and taxes, Rs23.06 was deducted on mobile phone cards. This has now been reduced to Rs11.11.
Last year, the former chief justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had taken a suo motu notice on public complaints that an unreasonable and high amount of tax/other charges were being deducted from the topping up the balance through easy load and calling cards, besides taxing the calls.
The Supreme Court had restored taxes imposed on prepaid mobile phone cards and easy load by disposing of an earlier order of the top court that had suspended the taxes.
Justice Nisar had asked whether deduction of Rs40 on every scratch card of Rs100 was not exploitation and observed that the matter involved public interest. On June 11, 2018, a three-judge SC bench headed by the CJP Nisar had suspended tax collection on mobile cards.
State Suffers Rs90 bn Before SC Restores taxes on Mobile Phone Cards
On April 24, the Supreme Court had restored taxes imposed on prepaid mobile phone cards and easy load by disposing of an earlier order of the top court that had suspended the taxes.
“For the reasons to be recorded later this human right cell case and all interim orders are disposed of,” CJP Khosa said while dictating the order, adding the court would not interfere in tax matters.
With the April 24 order, a three-judge special bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Ijazul Ahsan had restored deduction of different taxes on the top-up of the prepaid mobile phone cards.
Surprising as it may seem, the local media had earlier reported that the court was informed that the state had suffered a loss of about Rs90 billion since the interim order passed on June 11, 2018, till April 24.
The media reports had added that the apex court was earlier informed that Punjab government earned about Rs120 billion, Sindh government earned about Rs90bn, Balochistan government earned about Rs36bn and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government earned about Rs55bn annually through tax deductions on the cards and easy load.