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LHC rejects petitions against Income Support Levy

LAHORE: A bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected petitions against imposition of Income Support Levy, ARY News reported on Thursday.

A single bench of high court, comprised of Justice Asim Hafeez, announced verdict on petitions, including a plea filed by Hamza Shehbaz, the Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly, against the income support levy.

The petitioners challenging the Income Support Levy Act pleaded to the bench that they are registered taxpayers and also paying Zakat in accordance with the Fiqah (religious law) regularly without any default.

The counsels of petitioners pleaded that their clients were issued notices for recovery of tax under the income support levy law.

They petitioned that the tax is an amount recovered by the government to meet its public welfare targets. Social welfare is a provincial subject under the 18th Amendment of the constitution. The petitioners argued that the federal government does not have the authority to pass any legislation on the social welfare of the public at large. After the 18th Amendment the right to legislate about the social welfare issues has been devolved to provinces. If any such legislation is to be passed, it is within the domain of the provincial legislature.

The petitioners pleaded to the court to declare recovery of the Income Support Levy by the Inland Revenue department as void.

It is to mention here that the Inland Revenue department had sent a notice of recovery of 1.2 million rupees income support levy to Hamza Shehbaz.

The Income Support Levy, meant for helping the economically distressed persons and families and was first introduced in 2013. It faces vehement opposition from the wealthy elite of the country.

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