The irony of Pakistan’s tax system is that while those who belong to the highest rung of the social ladder are able to dodge the system, it is those who are struggling and actually need the government’s support who are burdened by over 65 types of withholding tax.

I am a university student without a source of income. Paying the heavy fee is already a challenge and yet I have to pay 12% withholding tax on my mobile phone usage. Additionally, there is no way through which I can claim it back as I don’t file an income tax return. This has further aggravated due to the pandemic. My classes have shifted online, increasing my internet usage exponentially thus quadrupling my expenses. Honestly speaking it hurts to realize that I should be exempted from this extra tax. This blanket policy is unjust and adds further misery to students like me, the downtrodden and the massive workforce of Pakistan who is battling to make ends meet. In 2018, even the Supreme court of Pakistan remarked, “Is this not exploitation? This is an illegal way to get money from people.” To all authorities concerned especially FBR, I would like to ask do you think this is just? Kindly levy taxes that are more friendly towards people like me, the youth; the future of Pakistan and during the pandemic at least an immediate waive should be made to ease this burden.

SIRAJ MUNEER SOOMRO,

Karachi.