With the introduction of the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2012 in the National Assembly, the stage is set for letting off the tax evaders in return for a mere pittance. The development has come in for a lot of flak by eminent economists who have criticised it as a ‘financial NRO’. These experts have summarily rejected the argument that this could broaden the tax net by bringing into it the thieving ones. The views of the IMF also conform to these views. There are suggestions instead that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should use the information available with it to trace the culprits and force them back into the tax net rather than pampering them on such a large and lavish scale. Would not the law abiding taxpayers gape at the FBR’s ‘generosity’ and wonder out loud what good had it been to pay their taxes regularly.

Obviously, when following law or shirking it will not make any difference; the entire business of state weather it is taxation or any other would run the risk of crumbling down. Unless law is made equal for all, its implementation will remain impossible to achieve. What is needed is for the FBR to go after the evaders of taxes. A long-standing concern to depolitise it must now be attended to. Those who have been bypassing the authorities have no right to ask for leniency. They have to pay all the money they owe to the state like other citizens.