RAWALPINDI: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued notices to the finance secretary, chairmen of FBR and OGRA in a petition challenging the SRO of federal government for increasing GST on petroleum products from 17 to 22 per cent.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Amir Farooq issued the notices in a petition of Muhammad Mazhar Qayyum who cited federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of finance & economic affairs division, chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and chairman Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) through its chairman as respondents.
The IHC bench also directed respondents to submit their reply in this matter and adjourned the hearing for further proceedings with date in office.
The petitioner adopted before the court that he is associated with goods forwarding business in Islamabad and increase in GST affects his business.
In his petition, he stated that federal government on December 30, 2014 through an SRO announced imposition of 22 per cent general sales tax (GST) on petroleum products.
He contended that the forcible imposition of 5 per cent GST in addition to already prevailing 17 per cent on petroleum products by the respondents is totally unconstitutional and illegal.
Mazhar maintained that the increase in GST or any other Tax can only be levied under Article 77 of the constitution that says “No Tax shall be levied for the purpose of the Federation except by or under the authority of Act of Majlis-e-Shoora/ Parliament.
He further argued that taxation through any executive Order is unconstitutional in view of Article 162 and the present move of Federation to increase the GST on Petroleum Products also violates the Supreme Court rulings.
He added that if the instant illegal act of the respondent is not set-aside by the court, then the petitioner and public at large would suffer irreparable economic and financial blow.
Therefore, he prayed to the court to declare the SRO dated December 30, 2014 as illegal and unconstitutional.