The government employees are underpaid and taxed throughout their service and then receive a meagre pension that does not support their living. Yet now their commutation and provident funds, which they invest in pensioners benefit schemes, have been brought under taxation through income support levy. This constitutes double taxation because income tax was deducted from them as they were being set aside during active service from the salary of the employees.

Not only is such double taxation disallowed in most countries of the world but it is also an act of cruelty to the senile pensioners. As one of the writers has already pointed out in these columns, our present rulers, having stayed in the luxury of Saudi palaces for nine years, seem to have lost touch with harsh economic realities of the people of their homeland and thus no more possess the social welfare sense they once did.

They have upgraded the taxation system to the level of advanced countries while our personal incomes match those of the poorest countries of the world. There is a dire need to take steps to drastically reduce wasteful expenditures especially by the powerful but superfluous civil and security bureaucracies and ministries through radical revision of our internal and external policies, instead of impoverishing the already downtrodden population through harsh taxation. I appeal to the government of Pakistan to withdraw all taxes from pension income and old age benefit schemes.

ABDUL JABBAR,

Muzaffargarh, October 14.