The pot is boiling and a neglected, abused and desperate nation is on the verge of erupting into a volcano, if those at the helm do not start taxing the rich and giving relief to the poor and elderly something drastic will happen soon. Unfortunately neither those sitting in government nor opposition, nor establishment has any concrete plan to address the real issues that confronts the poor and middle class. All that we see is a struggle for power, empty slogans, change of faces and when they come to power is plundering of more state assets.

This is a country where even senior citizens have not been spared. Instead of giving relief the government thought it appropriate to raise ‘Withholding Tax’ from 10% to 15% on interest earned from deposits in National Saving Centre. As it is citizens serving in private sector, who have paid Income Tax for decades, just like their compatriots serving in government, they are denied the benefit of the Pension Benefit Account Scheme of NSC. FBR has callously disregarded joint accounts, held by a senior citizen with his dependent spouse or child.

Same is the situation for Property Tax for a sole, self occupied house of a senior citizen, living within Cantonment Board or city. For instance retired citizens who were employed in semi autonomous corporations like CAA and PIA, although administratively under Ministry Of Defense and on numerous occasions placed under Essential Services, are not allowed relief from property tax.

The state does not seem to be bothered by plight of retired citizens, whose pension emoluments are not enough to pay even the electricity bill, let alone two meals a day and other expenditures, but the government hearts melt when it comes to giving relief to those earning billions in real estate sales, stock exchange profits and tax relief through SRO for elite.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, August 25.