Considering five fundamental rights applications yesterday (Sept 22), the Supreme Court issued an interim order against the implementation of the Environment Tax, reported Lanka Dissent. The petitioners were Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Ven. Kiniyawala Palitha Thera, Telshan Network and Swarnavahini.
The SC ordered the immediate suspension of the gazette notification announcing the new tax, and fixed December 01st as the next day of hearing.
A party that opposed not the idea of Environment tax, but the manner it was irrationally applied on mobile usage (not ownership) LIRNEasia takes pride in presenting some of its previous blog posts on the subject below.
Oct 30, 2007: “Green” tax to be imposed on mobiles?
April 10, 2008: Is mobile phone a polluter?
Aug 03, 2008: Taxing poor to clear the e-waste of rich
Aug 14, 2008: Road to ‘Dharma Rajya’ does not look ‘toll-free’
Aug 19, 2008: Udaya Gammanpila says Environmental Levy does not burden public
Sept 21, 2008: Digital cigarettes
Extracts from the ‘Daily News’ of today:
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed the operation of Gazette Notification on the Environmental Conservation Tax ECT in connection with the vehicles, cellular phones, bulbs and the telecommunication, radio and television transmission towers.
Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC observed that the Government should not undertake the burden of disposing of the used cellular phones. The Chief Justice noted that the Government should compel the mobile sellers to have a buy back scheme to dispose of used phones.
Justice Shiranee Thilakawardane observed that poor users should not be taxed for disposing of the e-waste such as used mobile phones and computers. She noted that it is responsibility of the manufacturers and sellers who earn billions.