Pak SC imposes Re1 per litre charge on mineral water, beverage firms

The judgement was issued on a suo motu case pertaining to selling by the companies of water extracted from underground sources without any charge as well as the quality and fitness of the same for human consumption,

PTI
Islamabad, Publish Date: Jan 13 2019 12:41AM | Updated Date: Jan 13 2019 12:41AM
Pak SC imposes Re1 per litre charge on mineral water, beverage firmsRepresentational pic

In a landmark decision, Pakistan's Supreme Court on Saturday imposed a levy of Re 1 for every litre of surface water extracted by companies selling mineral water and beverages, according to a media report.

The judgement was issued on a suo motu case pertaining to selling by the companies of water extracted from underground sources without any charge as well as the quality and fitness of the same for human consumption, Dawn newspaper reported.

The revenue so collected will used for construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

Authored by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, the judgement also required the provincial governments as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory administration to set up separate and distinct accounts to receive the amounts collected under the water charges, the report said. The amounts will then be deposited in the dams fund already created by the apex court.

The apex court made it clear that the funds so collected would not be diverted in any circumstances to any other purpose other than construction of dams and water-related activities.

However, once the dams are constructed, the provincial governments, subject to the order of the apex court, will be at a liberty to utilise the funds collected in the accounts, the judgement said.

The apex court also constituted a special committee, headed by Prof Dr Mohammad Ahsan Siddiqui and comprising representatives of the provincial chief secretaries, director generals of the federal and provincial environmental protection agencies (EPAs) and others, to devise a mechanism for calculation, collection and monitoring of the recovery of water charges from all major industries consuming surface or groundwater.

The industries include the energy sector, pulp and paper, cement, sugar, ethanol refineries, textiles, garments, tanneries, petroleum refineries, petrochemical industries and fertilisers. A similar levy has already been imposed on the cement industry.

The committee after consultations will suggest imposing water tariff on these industries, the order said. 

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