Increase in international oil prices was bound to reflect on retail price of petrol and diesel in Pakistan. While population has increased, agriculture producing green pastures on periphery of every city has been converted into concrete jungles where black economy is parked. This vicious cycle and conflicts of interest of those who hold power, has driven Pakistan to an economic paralysis, where inflation is on rise, taxation on income low, giving no fiscal space to give subsidy to millions of poor. It seems welfare of few thousands and their opulent lifestyle at taxpayer’s cost has priority over national and security interests of Pakistan.
Pakistan is on verge of defaulting payment of loans, yet other than rhetoric there is no deterrence to stop flight of capital from Pakistan through regular and irregular banking channels. Those who decide fate of this country, having benefited the most, have already abandoned it, by relocating families and assets abroad. Singapore has clamped down on real estate investment by hiking taxes on profits earned in order to boost industrial growth, increase exports and create more employment, while Economic Czars of Pakistan continue to levy minimal taxes on real estate business.
Inspite of decrease in exports, the paid and elected ruling elite, slave to their vested interests, continue to discourage investment in industry by making lowest tax levied on profits earned by land developers too tempting to be resisted by investors. Devaluation of rupee without taking other concrete steps will only benefit those who have stacked millions of dollars abroad, while making life impossible for those who have wedded their fate with that of this country. Resultant inflation would be ideal for chaos and disorder and inflict more damage than our foreign enemies could.
ALI MALIK TARIQ,
Lahore, July 1.