ISLAMABAD: A per the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) – that was told earlier that customers were getting only Rs. 61.93 on a Rs. 100 top-up – for 15 days (starting from 12 am Thursday 14th of June, 2018) FBR and cell phone service providers will not be charging any tax on top-ups.
CJP while hearing a suo moto case noted that cellular companies were fleecing the consumers, and thus had restrained FBR and cellular companies from deducting withholding tax and other charges on top-up cards till further orders. After fifteen days a mechanism will be introduced to rationalize the amount of tax to be collected on top-ups.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
i) Suspending the exorbitant tax deductions on prepaid mobile cards the CJP has given two days for the order to be implemented. He was hearing a suo motu case at the court’s registry here today. The CJP termed Rs. 38.8.08 deduction on a Rs. 100 prepaid mobile card as illegal. Court expressed its astonishment noting that even a laborer (who hardly manages to generate a hundred rupees a day) was asked to pay withholding tax. According to details the Apex Court had taken notice of the exorbitant taxes last May and asked all the telecommunication companies and the Attorney General of Pakistan to submit their replies on the anomaly.
ii) Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) on Saturday has submitted in SCP its response apropos composition of taxes deducted from mobile pre-paid top-up cards. It is pertinent to remind the readers here that SCP has ordered FBR, federal and provincial governments on 8th of May to inform why 42% worth of card was being deducted on mobile prepaid cards. The apex court took notice of public complaints that high amount of tax and other charges were being deducted from the topping up of the balance through mobile easy load and calling cards besides taxing the calls.
It had been told that 5.5 percent was deducted as a withholding tax, 19pc as sales tax and another 10pc as services charges. FBR, attempting to justify the levying of withholding taxes on recharging, held that due to a lack of documentation of economic transactions in developing countries, the tax base and revenue collection is low, which is why withholding taxes are the main source to broaden the tax base and generate revenue. A person has the right to claim a refund if his annual tax liability is less than the tax withheld. FBR went on to claim that the same modus operandi was prevalent in many countries and taxes were lower than in many countries. (Published on 20th of May 2018)
iii) SC, taking suo motu notice of huge deductions of prepaid billing as a tax by mobile companies, has issued a notice to FBR, cellular concerns and Attorney General of Pakistan here today.CJP wants Attorney General of Pakistan to explain as to how much and what amount is being deducted or taxed on a calling card/easy load of Rs100. According to details the three-judge bench headed by CJP, while noting a large number of complaints from people in this respect, has fixed the hearing on 8th of May. (Published on 3rd of May, 2018)
Companies need to be accredited by ECAC
ISLAMABAD: Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) was fully committed to making electronic transactions more sure, reliable and worldwide acceptable for that all companies and individuals engaged in electronic transaction and encryption services are required to get themselves accredited by ECAC.
Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) is providing more reliable and secured digital system to the public through the Digital Signature Certificate system under the vision of `Digital Pakistan.’ The Digital Signature Certificate authenticates identity electronically and provides people with a high level of security for online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of information exchanged using a digital certificate.
Highlighting the role and benefits of Digital Signature Certificate System, Deputy Director of ECAC, Wajahat Khan on Wednesday. He said Pakistan has been experiencing a challenge to make electronic transactions on a national and international level more secure, more reliable and worldwide acceptable.
He said digital transformation is need of the hour, demand for digital transformation is forcing companies, departments and people to change their business/working models and adapt to new market reality.
Wajahat Khan said any organization providing e-services to the public comes under the regulatory framework of ECAC, therefore, an organization providing such services are directed to get themselves accredited by Electronic Certification and Accreditation Council (ECAC).
The certificates issued by service providers are the only digital one (certificates) accepted by courts of law, he added.
The ECAC official said, the Council, being fully functional regulatory body has enforcement powers to regulate electronic transactions in public and private sectors and mandated to grant accreditation to approved crypto apparatus and accreditation to any Certificate Service Providers who intends to work as an Accredited Service Provider.
ECAC has accredited National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) and NIFT has been issuing certificates to various banks for purpose of confirming authenticity or integrity or both, of information contained therein, of an electronic document or of an electronic signature in respect of which it is issued. Replying to a question, he said ECAC has enforcement powers to regulate Electronic transactions in public and private sectors and to provide accreditation of certification service providers.
Chinese industrialists to invest $400 m in Sindh
HYDERABAD: The industrialists belonging to China’s Chongqing Federation of Industry and Commerce will invest $400 million in several trade and industrial projects in Hyderabad and other parts of Sindh.
The federation’s representative Zhang Yang informed a press conference at the office of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) here Sunday that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has already been signed in this regard. Yang informed that the MoU, which would last for 5 years, was signed between the Federation and HCCI in China in May this year.
He said under the MoU the investments would be made in steel, textile, and clothing, real estate, agriculture, tourism, education and training, municipal and solid waste disposal sectors. “We have declared Chongqing and Hyderabad as the friendly cities,” he told, adding that up to 34 industries and investors from Chongqing would make their investments in the joint ventures in Hyderabad and other cities of Sindh.
He told that the industrialists from the 2 cities had already maintained a promising cooperation in the industry. “We now want to further bolster the business ties in the steel, textile, real estate, and other sectors,” Yang said. He said Chongqing was a beautiful city in China and that it was home to the automobile and motorbike industry.
The Chinese businessmen said Hyderabad was a favorite place for investment where the Chinese industrialists intended to introduce advanced technology. He informed that Hyderabad was selected for the investment after HCCI submitted investment proposals to the federation. “This MoU is part of the CPEC as 34 Chinese companies will be making investments in various sectors,” former HCCI president Seth Goharullah said.
The HCCI’s vice president Ziauddin, who signed the MoU with his Chinese counterparts earlier in China, apprised that a formal agreement between the mayors of Chongqing and Hyderabad would be signed in October in Pakistan. He told that the Chinese delegations would visit Hyderabad and sign agreements with the local companies. According to him, a sub-office of the federation was also established in Hyderabad’s SITE area and it would also be inaugurated in October. The office bearers and members of HCCI were present on the occasion.
PR to charge dam fund surcharge from 25th Sept
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Railways (PR) will charge dam fund surcharge, Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 10 on the tickets of an economy and business class from September 25.
PR on the directive of Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has decided to increase fares for all classes for contribution to Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dam fund.
According to a PR spokesman, ticket prices will be increased in order to play a vital role in dam fund contribution. He informed that Re 1 will be charged on the purchase of Economy Class ticket worth Rs 100 and Rs 2 for tickets worth more than Rs 100.
An additional amount of Rs 10 will be charged on A/C class ticket. The collected amount will be transferred to Dam Fund on monthly basis, he added. No category would be exempted from the surcharge, be it the privilege ticket order issued to railway staff according to their pay scale, free privilege passes,
military vouchers, E-Ticketing, computerized tickets, paper card or general tickets, blank tickets which are issued in case of non-availability of card tickets besides current reservations.