The Lahore High Court directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Auth-ority (PTA) on Wednesday to submit a copy of a notification about the withdrawal of an additional tax on incoming international telephone calls.
Earlier, PTA’s counsel told the court that the tax challenged by a petitioner had been withdrawn, and therefore, the petition should be dismissed.
The petitioner’s counsel, however, alleged that the tax was still being collected on incoming international calls and that overseas Pakistanis were facing problems.
The court then directed the PTA lawyer to submit a copy of the notification on the next hearing.
The court also extended a stay order against the recovery of the tax till December 13, the next date of hearing.
A private company, Brain Telecommunication, had filed the petition challenging the levy of the additional tax. The petitioner stated that the additional tax was in violation of the rules prescribed under section 4 of the Competition Commission Act which prohibits price fixing and division of market through quotas.
It said the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) was mandated to provide free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour.
The petitioner said the CCP had also objected to the additional tax but the PTA ignored the reservations. The petitioner added that overseas Pakistanis had been facing immense difficulty and financial losses due to the “illegal” additional tax.
The petitioner requested the court to declare the impugned tax unlawful and restrain PTA from collecting the same.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2012.