Tax defaulters deserve no mercy

PAKISTAN is regarded as having the lowest tax to GDP ratio not only in South Asia but the entire world. This is despite the fact that every government that comes to power makes commitments to take revenue collection to reasonable level. However, it is deplorable that affluent class and major sectors of the economy are not ready to contribute to strengthening of the economy and are out of tax net.
Over the last four years, present government launched some schemes envisaging incentives to lure more people into the tax next but we understand these have not resulted into some major success. Perturbed over current situation, Public Accounts Committee Tuesday proposed constitutional and legal amendments to suspend national identity cards of tax defaulters. It also suggested barring the judiciary from granting stay orders beyond six months in financial matters. We believe that PAC has come up with a very positive recommendation as in fact strong measures and punishments are required from authorities concerned in order to improve the tax to GDP ratio which is the only course to free the country from clutches of foreign loans and help it stand on its own feet. As PAC comprises members both from treasury and opposition benches, we expect that this very proposal will be taken very seriously by the government and will take requisite steps after due deliberation in order to bring an amendment in this regard in the finance bill to be presented next month. These tax thieves not at all deserve any kind of mercy and such steps are required that also lead to their embarrassment in the society. If all potential tax payers start paying their due share, the government will also then be in a comfortable position to reduce the burden of indirect taxes which in fact directly affect the poor lot. As government is about to present final budget before next elections, we expect that genuine steps will be taken that bring potential sectors into tax net and cut the ratio of indirect taxes in order to provide relief to common man.

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