In reference to the various statements made by the Finance Minister, Chairman FBR and Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan plans to widen the tax net and curb the black economy but instead of taking steps to achieve these goals, what we witness is an endless spate of tax amnesty schemes to patronise the criminal economy, land mafia and money laundering sharks.

India has resorted to an extreme and unpopular decision to demonetize Rs500 and Rs1000 currency notes, with a declared objective to force the criminal black economy sharks to rush to banks and enforce documentation. In contrast our government, like its predecessors, has been encouraging all sectors involved in tax evasion and the flight of capital through illegal channels by giving them tax amnesty schemes. They, in turn, are rejected by tax defaulters who would then enjoy numerous benefits.

In developed and developing countries, tax evasion is considered a more heinous crime than murder, because without tax collection, the state fails to function thus compromising its development, national security, sovereignty and most likely lead to social and geographical disintegration from within. A cursory look at luxurious mansions built on state expense, for elected and paid public office holders in contrast with the despicable state of hospitals and schools built for the vast majority reveals the tragic abuse of power and convoluted priorities of those who hold office.

A.M TARIQ,

Malaysia, November 21.