Far from achieving what it ought to have been meant for, recommendations on the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2012 that the Senate passed on Friday would further encourage people to get away without taxes. It has yet to get the nod of assent from the National Assembly but the progress it has made so far with only the PML-N and MQM opposing it is dreadful.

It stands to reason that if the defaulters are given amnesty it would induce more people to think that they too deserve similar treatment or, at least, it offers them some way out. The FBR has pointed out in its report that there are a total of 2.9 million offenders to benefit from the scheme. One cannot understand why they are being shown this kindness; what stops the FBR to go after them and make them pay what they owe to the country. The motive behind this generosity appears incomprehensible except that it is a virtual free for all. The affluent classes set the rules; they are almost in every corridor of power; in the National Assembly as well as in the Senate; first they shirk taxes and then draft laws to make that legal. The passage of the bill must be stopped if thieves, crooks and burglars are to be caught. The state must have no tolerance for them. Law is for everyone; Parliament being its very fountainhead must desist from making exceptions.