Pakistan in need of a Conducive Environment
"We have to set our priorities right. Tax must be levied and should be received too", claims Mian Haroon Masood
The Government must make clarifications on certain ambiguities caused by FBR. There is panic and fear in the masses and the most feared sentiment that they harbour now explains vividly that coming into the tax net once means to be there always under the spot light of FBR.
The businessmen go about their daily lives with drooping spirits.The ruling elite in aid of FBR must put their arm to the wheel. The local leaders of the small traders in their respective areas are causing fear by telling them that anything transacted over an identity card could place them formally in the cadre of those filers who may eventually have to be answerable on a perpetual basis and in a much harder way.
This has cast a gloom overall.There is a dire need of a dialogue by and between the conflicting parties.
The smallest of the traders might be interested in paying a fixed tax. They could go themselves rather the representatives of the department coming to them and asking them of depositing the tax. It has more to do with the fear rather than the feel good factor which is completely missing, and as for now this will be the governing principle I think, this is a significant move forward.
The government must not bow down. In fact it has to work out solutions. Saudi Arabia has brought more taxes lately. Happily they have accepted the 5 percent increase in the taxes because they have been provided with more opportunities of employment and business. We must also create the same opportunities and a conducive environment for creating more business.
I remember being privy to one Swedish ambassador who paid us a visit in the early years of the devolution of power plan and the governments which were formed as a result thereof. I as the convener of the Gujrat tehsil assembly had the privilege to get first hand information from him and and discovered how they progressed in their countries. The ambassador addressed the house and the newly elected members. He said in his country major portion of their income went towards the local body. I was dumbfounded, totally flustered to think what we paid in our homeland as opposed to 35 percent of theirs.
We have to set our priorities right. Generally a conducive environment has to be created. Tax must be levied and should be received too. The consumers interest must also be borne in mind and it is the duty of the government to ensure a smooth sailing. The policy in a country is the duty of the head of the state. He has to come up with a better and a workable solution. There could be no tehreek or a protesters movement on the simple pretext that they won’t pay taxes. Its a hollow slogan.The elected govt must think for the betterment of the poor. The political pundits say that a small strike on part of the traders is not ringing alarm for them to be launching a nation wide strike on a bigger scale.That crescendo is not building up yet.
Our country on the other hand is burdened with more penalties for the punitive actions taken on part of the world bank tribunal, favouring those foreign companies working in Pakistan whose licences were later cancelled by our erstwhile Chief Justice. We saw chief sahib taking suo moto actions and making head lines daily. The govt will now bear the brunt for making compensations to probably all who lost cases then. Decisions that appear irredeemably flawed. 950 million dollars is what we owe to the companies in question. Snowball in hellfire it seems.