Ordinary masses in this country have to pay sales tax on groceries, withholding tax on banking transactions, tax on licenses, registrations etc and fees various professional bodies have to pay for registration. Somebody with appropriate knowledge may be able to identify hundreds of other such levies. We are paying for the Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower project every month even as the federal government has burdened us with another tax in the name of 'technical assistance for development'. An honest evaluation of the ongoing development ventures in the country would reveal how much the taxpayer has to foot besides the tax on income he already pays to the CBR. One wonders when would one of the innumerable advisors to the PM come up with the idea of levying a 'cabinet surcharge on all citizens of the country? Our beloved head of the state can do the honours of announcing it and all those who are able to earn a living would be liable to pay for the 'social benefit' of having the jobless from among our elite accommodated in the federal cabinet. Haven't they been striving to serve this country all their lives? How about apportioning money from Zakat and Usher pool for keeping our well-deserved ministers in job? -DR FAHEEM AKHTAR, Lahore, via e-mail, January 30.