With a mere 55 day stretch before the reigns of the government are passed on to the next contender, the implementation of the amnesty scheme seems to be going on with full force. The fact that the sitting government had to resort to an ordinance approved by President Mamnoon Hussain for it to come to immediate effect, despite the criticism from all sides, is what makes the move extremely suspicious. Number one, had the government felt so strongly about the scheme it would have followed the proper legal channel to ensure that it stands constitutionally correct. Number two, ordinances by the president can be extended for up to a period of 120 days, after which the parliament has to approve of the scheme. Given the time frame, speedy conversion into an ordinance will not ensure that the next parliament will uphold the scheme and those opting for it will have the same benefits two months down the line.
At the same time, the government has not learnt from its past experiences. 2016 and the attempt of an amnesty scheme is not far away. The scheme, despite how accommodating the clauses were, only witnessed 128 members of the society coming into the tax net. And this was the exact opposite of the number expected. Now with such a tight schedule at hand, selling this scheme to a larger fraction of individuals will be tasking and a greater challenge for the future. This can definitely become a hassle for the next government and also those trusting the current setup and utilising the scheme.
These desperate attempts during the last days of the tenure to either fix the economic situation of Pakistan or facilitate a certain group of people always result in the opposite of the desire result. In the case of the economy for instance, such ad-hoc policy adoption shows lack of vision for economic stability in the last five years. If we talk about facilitating a certain group of individuals, then this is a very short-lived period to rely on the scheme. It is going to be a huge leap of faith to trust the policies which may not remain during the next tenure. It goes to show the lack of sensitisation of the general public to better adopt policies framed by the state.
This is a move which will definitely create more confusion, more chaos, if it is not delayed up until the next term to be effectively worked upon.