This is reference to Federal Budget presented in NA by Finance Minister. It is a budget made by traders for traders and tax evaders, facilitating property tycoons, retailers and businessmen in tax evasion, imposing indirect taxes which drive inflation making life miserable for common man. The statistics presented by Finance Minister are hypothetical or fudged, because no census has been conducted for over a decade. There are no plans to curb flight of capital and money laundering and instead efforts to regularise these irregularities.

It is unfortunate that ruling elite of this country indulges in leading extravagant lifestyle at tax payer’s account, knowing full well that Pakistan is facing a serious financial crisis. The incompetence and negligence of FBR can be gauged from the fact that number of direct income payers has actually decreased.

The civil and khaki bureaucrats and political office holders prefer to buy expensive foreign imported limousines instead of local assembled cars, which in their opinion is not safe for them, yet suitable for citizens who buy these vehicles not equipped with minimum safety equipment, nor latest technology engines, although price tag is more than in USA, Gulf countries etc. Instead of clamping down on tax evaders they are being facilitated by regularising blatant irregularities committed by them. Although tax evasion is technically a crime in Pakistan, yet it is prevalent, because not a single high profile tax criminal has ever been punished. Money laundering has become rampant and in rare case if somebody like Ayyan is caught, the whole system, including prosecuting and investigating agencies get together to get them off the hook.

Misuse of scarce resources can be gauged by Foreign Office wasting over Rs 1 Billion in buying expensive foreign imported limousines instead of locally assembled cars. In absence of strict audit and regulation, waste and abuse has become a norm by state funded institutions.

ALI MALIK, Lahore,

June 10.