Entrepreneurs are very important for the success of a country. They not only help start new industries and businesses, they also create jobs and economic activities for the country. Unfortunately in Pakistan, all government departments are hell-bent on stopping entrepreneurs from doing any good. Recently I imported a special agricultural product that could be used to grow fruit trees in home gardens or non-fertile land.

The equipment is basically a plastic container, with a small opening to allow the water to slowly drip on the plant root. This method of irrigation of is called ‘drip irrigation’, and has been found to improve growth and health, while reducing the use of water. It is a revolutionary technology that could have extraordinary benefits for Pakistan, because the economy is agriculture based.

The equipment is classified as an agriculture item which has only 5 percent tax in Pakistan. A Lahore ‘custom official’, instead insisted that it be classified as a ‘contraceptive’ and illegally raised the tax to 105 percent. How an agricultural water container, can be used as a contraceptive is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

When I complained to the Customs, FedEx and clearing agents, this particular Customs official flatly refused to change or recheck it and instead told me to pay the amount or I would be charged for demurrage, storage etc as well. This would have resulted in swift cancellation of any further orders, imports and business work, regarding this new technological equipment in Pakistan. This is how Pakistan treats their entrepreneurs and this is why no new businesses and new technologies can be introduced in our country.

ENGR SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER,

Peshawar, October 16.