In­equitable tax sys­tem

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - JAVAID BASHIR

Some 50 years ago in May 1960 the then Fi­nance Min­ster said that theft of taxes would be stopped with full force. But in these years dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ments have prac­ti­cally taken no steps to curb the tax eva­sion and black money. From time to time black money has been le­gal­ized un­der Amnesty Schemes of one kind or the other.

The an­ti­quated Tax Sys­tem stinks with cor­rup­tion and lack of com­pe­tence. The en­tire tax ad­min­is­tra­tion is cor­rupt from top to bot­tom. I am aware of this fac­tual po­si­tion as a man who served in the In­land Rev­enue Ser­vice as young of­fi­cer. I re­signed due to ram­pant cor­rup­tion in the Tax ser­vice.

I be­lieve that the govern­ment has by de­sign spread cor­rup­tion at all lev­els of its ac­tiv­i­ties. It is a great shame that we have not pro­duced or man­u­fac­tured hon­est crop of men and women. Women of­fi­cers have left their coun­ter­parts way be­hind in cor­rupt prac­tices. Dur­ing the past sev­eral decades var­i­ous gov­ern­ments have been mak­ing claims of suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of eq­ui­table tax sys­tem.

If this goal had been re­al­ized we would have col­lected Rs 1500 bil­lion of ad­di­tional taxes. And the num­ber of tax re­turns could have been in­creased by 5 mil­lion. It is ex­tremely pa­thetic that in­stead of catch­ing the pow­er­ful and wealthy tax thieves the govern­ment is pro­vid­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to whiten their black money.

The na­tional ex­che­quer has been robbed with two hands. By the amnesty scheme thieves le­gal­ize their largess. Black money to the tune of Rs. 20 thou­sand bil­lion is out of cir­cu­la­tion. In the last fif­teen years the trea­sury has suf­fered a loss of 9700 bil­lion ru­pees in the name of war on ter­ror­ism. The Armed forces have been forced to ac­knowl­edge that bil­lions of ru­pees of black money is used to fi­nance ter­ror­ist groups. A year go it was re­solved to put an end to such fund­ing but noth­ing so far has been done. — Via email

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