From what the MNS regime has done in their first 120 days or so to alleviate the lot of the poor, one cannot pin much hopes for the betterment during the rest of their ruling period. Everyone knows that we as a nation are cash strapped and almost all our problems are due to the non-availability of funds in the required ratio. We have to raise money to overcome our difficulties, but somehow our financial wizards in the govt. know no other means of doing so except for going to the IMF, borrowing from banks, taxing the poor directly and indirectly and printing notes day and night, which causes further inflation making the life of the poor more miserable! Does it require a rocket scientist to know that to ease out of such a situation one has to cut down all unessential expenditures and losses and explore ways and means to generate additional income? The realistic approach of any country should have been to first cut down all extravagance practiced by the government on all levels, cutting down of perks and privileges provided to the rich class who come into our bureaucracy and our parliaments.Getting rid of the white elephants, wholly or partly which are causing the national exchequer loss of billions daily such as PIA, Steel Mills, Railways, WAPDA and similar other organisations. To generate additional revenue, we all know that only a fraction of the taxes and levies collected come to the exchequer and most of these are embezzled by the tax collectors themselves. Therefore, the FBR, who would oppose the scheme tooth and nail, should only do the legislation and policy making and have nothing to do with the actual collection of the taxes.The government can auction all Tax Collecting Agencies – Airports, Dry Ports, Sea Ports, Excise and Taxation Department, Toll Plazas etc. – initially for a period of three years, keeping the base or reserve auction price at double the average of the last three years’ revenue collected by the FBR. All staff working in these departments may be given a ‘Golden Hand Shake’ or ‘long leave with pay’ till they attain the age of retirement. I bet that after the first three years the next three years ‘Auction Bid’ would accrue at least double and this can grow after every three years. Government stands to gain billions.There are a few more other such revolutionary schemes that can be implemented – such as Fixed and Capacity Tax on all shops, businesses, factories, mills etc. instead of the present discretionary assessment system. The property tax can be fixed and computed keeping certain factors such as city, locality and the total area of the property as per the Land Revenue records. All such revolutionary measures can be worked out easily with the help of computer.COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD), Lahore, October 03