Petrol price escalation

While it is understandable, that price of petrol and edible oil etc. is linked with what prevails in the international market, it is the contradiction of low taxation on real estate profits and cigarette sales that does not conform to international practice, which is shocking. Even the IMF would have no objection to giving selective subsidies to the poor if Pakistan raises enough revenues to meet expenditures. There is no difference whether the government is dominated by PTI, PML-N, PPP, PMLQ etc. this elite capture is dominant and is reflected in every budget that has been passed for decades.

Pakistan has never adopted the Jinnah Doctrine, which was the basis for the creation of a modern democratic welfare state. It is an internationally accepted practice to tax all sources of income and raise enough revenues to meet expenditures and invest in socio-economic development, instead of the elite capture where few are exempted from taxes, enjoy subsidies and tax amnesty schemes and are the biggest beneficiaries. Ever since the first IMF agreement in 1958, we have had deficit budgets. We have borrowed from all international financial sources, and even got involved in fighting proxy wars, but the billions received are not reflected in improving the lives of the poor and middle class.

We are unique in the region and world at large, where the paid elite is beneficiaries of gross irregularities like multiple allotments of plots and agricultural land, which they are at liberty to sell for commercial profits, with minimal taxation.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.

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