FBR has failed in fulfilling its duty, that of collecting taxes. In 66 years, the FBR has only managed to collect taxes from only 0.5% of Pakistan's population. Ironically it is also one of the biggest Government organizations with many well paid employees who take home large salaries and have transport, petrol allowance, houses and many other perks while delivering zilch!

We have all been witness to the FBR's tall claims of sending out ‘notices’ to six million tax offenders, while at the same time offering them ‘amnesty schemes’ for illegal car owners, where it was reported that cars still in transit in Japan were being cleared by the FBR, while ironically FBR cannot find tax offenders in the 6th most populous country in the World.

We have all read about detection of ‘flying or fake invoices’, which were only detected after billions were paid back to cheaters as sales tax return, when they showed through fake invoices that they had paid taxes on imports. We have all grown-ups hearing about the famous ‘FBR SRO Culture’ that is specially designed to confuse everyone, while allowing FBR insiders to help large company holders to cheat Pakistan out of taxes.

But after FBR failed to arrest any of the parliamentarians when they clearly showed through their nomination papers that they were holding government jobs but not paying any taxes. Ironically FBR was scolding the ECP for putting up the non taxpaying status of the parliamentarian online. This act clearly demonstrated that the FBR is incapable of collecting any kind of tax from anyone in Pakistan, especially the large fish.

Pakistan collects most of its taxes from luxury goods like, petroleum products, energy, cigarettes, home appliances etc. Taxes are also collected on imports and exports and since the tax collection through income tax is only 0.5% of the population, therefore the government should consider making Pakistan a tax free country like Dubai and Switzerland.

This may give the country a better chance in the business community because in a tax free Pakistan there would be no income tax, and thus no need of a FBR or legal proceedings and investigations involved in income tax collection which would save large amount spent on this useless organization and its leaches. Taxes would only be collected on import/exports, luxury items, vehicles, energy etc. The tax free status will help allure multinational organizations to Pakistan, as it will reduce the red-tape and tax collection dealing with local Government.

Pakistan will be rid of the bad name of being the lowest income tax collecting nation in the region, while also helping reduce the cost of running FBR. While many new companies might relocate to Pakistan, due to the tax free status and low labor cost, which would create jobs in the country. This tax free status will be important in the near future when Pakistan will become one of a handful of nations that generates all its electricity from renewable (hydal, wind, solar) sources, at low rates, attracting many IT companies to the nation.

SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER,

Peshawar, January 16.