Every year a budget is presented and goals set, which are never to be realized. Tax evasion in Pakistan according to former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin is in the range of Rs798 billion annually.The FBR in Pakistan isbiggest facilitator of tax evasion, which is evident from the fact that targets set for tax collection are never achieved, nor are the criminals responsible for this crime against the state ever been punished. Thousands of containers loaded with contraband items, including prohibited lethalweapons have gone missing courtesy the corruption mafia within customs, KPT security and sensitive intelligence units. In any democratic sovereign state, tax evasion is the worst of all crimes that can be committed against a state. This is why high profile tax dodgerswhen caught in the developed worldare never spared and given strict exemplary punishment so that it serves as a deterrence for others.There is no rocket science involved in documenting the economy,provided there is political will to do so and some semblance of integrity enforced within the rank and file of those assigned the task to collect taxes. According to FBRsomeseven hundred thousand tax thieves have been identified and over 4,000 companiesinvolved in obtaining fake refunds identified, yet the FBR for some strange reasons wants to protect their identities. Whilemillions of poor suffer due lack of funds as a consequence of tax revenue targets not being achieved, yet the criminals responsible for this crime within the administration andbusiness communityare being protected.No nation can survive, or function if its tax collection agency is riddled by massive corruption and less than 40% of targeted tax revenues collected as is the case in Pakistan.Hundreds of thousands of poor die of starvation and many of them commit suicide, yet those responsible fortax evasion, a crime against the state, are being facilitated by none other than the FBR and their political godfathers. MALIK TARIQ ALI, Lahore, May 25.