Recover 50% super tax from big companies in one week, SC directs FBR

Sohail Khan
A general view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Top courts official website
A general view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Top court's official website

  • Sectors include cement, steel, sugar, oil and several others.
  • Two-member bench issues direction on FBR's plea. 
  • Govt had imposed super tax on big companies last year.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed wealthy organisations, earning over Rs150 million, to deposit 50% of the super tax imposed on them with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) within seven days, The News reported Tuesday. 

A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Athar Minallah took up the plea filed by the FBR against the interim order passed by the Lahore High Court (LHC).

FBR's counsel Salman Akram Raja informed the bench that the LHC — through an interim order — had restrained his client from such recoveries before a final decision is issued.

However, counsel for the respondents contended that the government’s super tax on corporations was unconstitutional. After suspending the interim order of the high court, the apex court allowed the FBR to recover 50% of the super tax from these industries within a week.

Last year, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced the imposition of a 10% super tax, also dubbed as “poverty alleviation tax” on 13 major segments to augment tax collection.

The government had said that the “tough decisions” were taken to protect the economy.

The sectors that were to be taxed included cement, steel, banking, airlines, textile, automobile assembling, sugar mills, beverages, oil and gas, fertiliser, cigarettes, chemicals and LNG terminals.

The government had expected to generate an income of Rs80 billion through the super tax, however, the respondent companies had approached the LHC challenging the imposition of the super tax.

In September 2022, the LHC issued an interim order prohibiting the FBR from collecting super tax from these companies. Later, FBR filed an appeal in the apex court against the interim order of the LHC.