Our economic absurdities

Shakil Ahmad

Taxes are necessary for a country to function. Yet, on the other hand, it is all the more true that the strength of a country’s economy is still more important for its survival. Therefore, it is essential that taxation should be carried out in such a way that growth of its economy does not suffer otherwise country’s existence may become endangered. Economy is generated by natural resources acted upon by human activity. Our country is rich in natural resources such as rivers, agricultural land, minerals, wind and sun and so on, but our manpower lacks the know-how to properly utilize these gifts of nature for creation of prosperity. Basically, ever since the creation of our country, our rulers and resultantly our people have remained under one or the other kind of externally induced terror which kept them paralyzed to take any action for laying the basis for generation of assets for the country. To hang together, a nation must have an ideology. In medieval times, theology served this purpose well. But today materialistic foundations are needed to serve as the binding glue for a nation. Pakistan separated from India because we practised a different style of culture which frequently gave rise to bloody clashes with Hindus. But soon after our independence our national ideology was changed into a theological status which is in fact an intangible entity and open to divisive interpretations and disintegrative tendencies. Others used our theological weaknesses and transformed them into terrorist weapon to subjugate us and this bloody division continues to threaten our national integrity to this day. The people of our country are largely illiterate and thus somewhat irrational and so they resist modern reforms which are necessary for our growth. The government has turned taxation into another weapon of terrorism and as most of our economy is undocumented, the rich ones among us transfer their wealth abroad, but those living hand to mouth get caught in the instruments of new tax net. Income tax needs to be turned into consumption tax, otherwise investors will fly from the country.

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