Local auto dealers have challenged the government’s decision to ban the non-filers from purchasing any kind of vehicle in the country.
The petition is filed in the Islamabad High Court by the PTI MNA and former minister Dr. Babar Awan. The petitioner asked the court to lift the ban imposed in finance act 2018 citing it against the fundamental rights and averse to the constitution of Pakistan.
The ban was imposed by the former government of PMLN to force the non-filers to come under the tax radar by filing themselves. Although PTI government, after coming into the power, suggested lifting the ban, they decided to pursue the policy after facing strong criticism from civil society.
During the course of hearing today, Justice Farooq while addressing the petitioner’s lawyer Babar Awan sneered, “Are you here to challenge your own amendment”? Upon this, Babar Awan affirmed the remark and explained that there is no sense in this amendment as non-filers are allowed to purchase old Mercedes but not new Mehran.
Petitioner is of the view that the government is here to work for the welfare of the people not to do legislation against the will of the public. “Our sales are dropped and we are facing losses. We have given them votes in a hope to get relief and prosperity but unfortunately, this is not happening,” commented a local dealer in Lahore.
Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has also warned the government of almost Rs. 50 billion revenue loss due to this ban while the excise department also reported a rapid decline in the new vehicle registrations.
The hearing has been deferred for two weeks while the court has directed Secretary Finance, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Director General Motor Registration to file comments on the recent development.
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