Pakistan is a country with an ever-expanding tax to GDP ratio, an alarming pile-up of loans to fill the deficit, yet a country where registered tax filers are harassed and those who evade taxes are given numerous tax amnesty schemes.

The whole system is designed to facilitate tax evasion by the elite and pressurise the salaried class and those few conscientious traders who pay taxes and file returns regularly. Instead of widening the tax net, corrupt bureaucracy within FBR and ruling elite have made life miserable for honest Pakistanis who do not resort to money laundering. A plot is allotted at subsidised rates to the elite in CDA Islamabad or DHA Karachi and Lahore with market prices ranging between Rs 4 to 8 crore when sold, the tax is deducted on DC rate which is a meager Rs 35 lakh or more.

FBR employees pursue retired salaried people who having paid taxes all their lives, continue to file their tax and wealth returns, but are harassed when they buy a new car registered in their name. Why should FBR employees focus only on those who are registered tax filers , visit and harass them at their residences, instead of catching thousands who are either not registered or pay nominal taxes but buy luxurious limousines and SUV worth over Rs 1 crore? Non-tax payers can buy expensive cars, pay a nominal additional tax and are never bothered by state agencies. This farce must come to an end.


Sukkur, June 6.