It was shocking that PTI which promised to clamp down on Loan Defaulters, corruption etc allow its Minister of State Hammad defend tax evaders and non-filer’s constitutional right to buy property etc. People expected PTI to take effective steps to widen tax net, punish tax evaders, not facilitate and defend them. 

In documented economies, the biggest crime against state is tax evasion, because foundations on which modern state is built and functions stands eroded if taxes are not paid. Citizens found guilty of tax evasion are considered criminals in developed world, and end up serving life sentences alongwith confiscation of property and frozen bank accounts. National security of a country stands compromised if economy suffers because of organized tax evasion and resultant rise in Debt-GDP ratio which is what is happening in Pakistan. 

If tax evaders right to buy property is to be defended than what about giving similar rights to those who rob citizens, or are involved in kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking etc. After all tax evaders rob the state and do more collective damage than such criminals. 

The Federal Minister for Finance cited different reason for waiving off restrictions on non-filers, relying upon rights of overseas Pakistan, who are non-filers because they neither earn in this country nor reside here and can be facilitated by various other means. PTI headed government should be defending constitutional rights of millions denied basic education, health and clean drinking water, because of funds paucity by organized tax evasion. Thousands are facilitated in tax evasion by corrupt FBR and government hostage to their conflicts of interest. Millions of poor die because state cannot cater to welfare of most deprived sections of our society. 

MALIK TARIQ ALI,  

Lahore, September 25.