MINGORA: The local traders and civil society members have rejected the newly-introduced taxes and decided to move court against the levies.

The traders and civil society members here on Monday told journalists that they consulted legal experts on the issue and decided to move court against different types of taxes included in the monthly bills of electricity, gas and telephone.

Swat Traders Federation president Abdul Rahim told journalists that Malakand division was tax-free zone but government was imposing different types of taxes on its residents.

He said that taxes were included in the utility bills of electricity, gas and telephone. He said that he had already consulted legal experts on the issue and made preparations to move court against the government.

Civil society members threaten to launch protest movement

“We receive electricity bills in which fuel adjustment taxes have been included while service tax has been included in the bills of telephone. Similarly, 16 per cent GST on different commodities and 17 per cent tax on branded items have also been imposed. All these taxes are illegal and we don’t accept them,” he said Mr Rahim.

He said that he would soon challenge imposition of taxes in Mingora bench of Peshawar High Court.

The civil society members also showed concerns over imposition of taxes and said that they would resist it.

Niaz Ahmad Khan, a resident of Mingora, said that he was shocked to see that his original bill was Rs461 but had to pay Rs1,060 because taxes of Rs598 were included in it.

“It means that I have to pay more as tax than my original bill despite the fact that I live in tax-free zone,” he said. He added that he along with other people would launch a campaign against it.

Amjad Ali, another civil society member, said that the PTI government of change made fun of the people as it not only increased the prices of daily use items and medicines but also imposed illegal taxes on the people of Malakand division.

“The recent imposition of taxes through bills of electricity, gas and telephone is against the law which we will never concede to and start a proper campaign as well as move court against it,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019