Mineral water companies case: SC summons all four chief secretaries

CJP laments no govt official attended seminar on water scarcity


APP October 25, 2018
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. PHOTO:ONLINE/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned chief secretaries of all four provinces in-person in a case pertaining to water consumption by mineral water companies.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar rejected a report submitted by the Advocate General Punjab regarding taxes imposed on bottled water companies.  AG Punjab while submitting the report stated the Punjab government has divided water usage in three categories to extract water from areas facing water scarcity, mineral water companies have to pay Rs0.75 per litre whereas in areas where there is no shortage of water, the companies are required to pay Rs0.15 per litre.

To this, the Chief Justice while expressing displeasure said that "it seems authorities have put a donkey into the well, it would rather be better not to take any money at all", the Chief Justice added.

The top judge also maintained mineral water companies were themselves willing to pay Rs0.50 to 0.75 so what the government adding in it. He noted a private company sold off billions of rupees worth of water by acquiring a six acre land in Sheikhupura and the government imposes just Rs0.75 fee on them. He also lamented the country was drying up but no government representative was seen at the conference on water scarcity, organised by the Supreme Court recently.

Subsequently, while summoning chief secretaries of the four provinces, the bench ordered a forensic audit of mineral water companies with a report to be submitted on a weekly basis in the court.

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