IT is quite surprising that the Finance Bill presented by the government whose declared mission is to provide roti, kapra and makan to all its citizens should be proposing a drastic cut in the percentage of amount of taxable income both individuals and corporations can give in charity and claim tax credit. And that too at a time when the skyrocketing inflation is hurting even the middle classes and driving the lower middle classes down the poverty line. The poorer the person the harsher the impact he is required to bear today, which should rather be a compelling factor for providing greater incentives to philanthropy. Instead, the upper limit of donations eligible for tax credit is being brought down from 30 percent and 15 percent respectively for individuals and companies to 10 percent for both categories. The Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy reckons that the listed companies gave Rs 2.3 billion to charitable causes in 2006, a tenfold increase in five years attributable to the tax credit provision and growth in economy. The new measure would reduce this amount by a third while the revenue gain to the government would be too small in comparison. Though there is no verifiable record of donations by individuals, the amount is significant and there would inevitably be a marked reduction as well. The argument of abuse of the existing provision, which prompted the tabling of the new measure, sounds rather thin because tax credit can be claimed only on donations to a Federal Bureau of Revenue approved charity. One hopes better sense prevails and the government withdraws the proposal.