SC asks bottled water companies to pay Re1 per litre tax or close business

–CJP orders provinces to tax companies, says will not let people die of thirst for companies’ profit ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered all provinces to impose Re1-per-litre tax on companies selling bottled water and constituted a committee to evaluate the quality of ‘mineral water’.
The directives were issued by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar while concluding the suo motu case regarding use of water resources by mineral water companies.
Furthermore, officials from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Punjab Food Authority (PFA) and bottled water companies will also be a part of the committee.
The committee has been directed to present a report on the matter within 10 days.
A Nestle representative informed the court that it spends money on adding minerals in the extracted water, adding that the company earns Rs158 million each year from the sale of bottled water.
CJP Nisar responded that according to a report, the company does not add more minerals in the water.
“Water companies have stolen water for their gains,” he remarked.
“Bottled water companies earn billions of rupees without paying a single penny.
“If you don’t want to accept the deal [paying Re1 per litre], you are free to exit the industry.” “Show some courage and close the factory.
I will see how long you can keep it closed.” The owners of mineral water companies were summoned by the top court during the last hearing when CJP Nisar observed that groundwater was being extracted for free.

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