Voice of the People


Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Smuggling goods

Smuggling goods not only steals Government taxes but also hinders the establishment of long-term business. For example, a business introducing a new brand of mobile phone, will spend huge sums in promotion and advertisement in the beginning while also pay 17-20% taxes on his stock.
These costs are acceptable because business has potential to earn much higher in long run through sales. But once brand is established a smuggler smuggles the same brand goods without paying any taxes or doing any promotion work. Smuggler is able to sell at established price of brand which includes 17% tax. The smuggler provide 2-5% discount and sells all his stock on cash pocketing remaining tax amount as profit.
Now the original brand owner is faced with a tough situation where another competitor is offering product at a discount, while he cannot offer any such discount due to heavy tax payment. His clients would use his promotion to sell the smuggler’s cheap stock. In the end the dejected brand owner has to sell all his stock at a loss and close shop.
This example shows how smuggling stops the growth of industries and businesses in Pakistan. Smuggling is done systematically and with help of custom officials. In Peshawar these smugglers pay customs and police officials huge sums on a daily basis. This example also shows the reason for smuggling is the high tax. The tax on imported goods is the profit of the smuggler from which he pays bribes and discounts.
Therefore, if the Government wants to make it easier to do business they need to curb smuggling. There are two ways to do it. The first is to reduce the amount of tax on goods so there is no big profit for smugglers.
But if the Government wants to maintain a higher price than they need to ensure, very strictly, that no smuggling occurs. More agencies should be tasked to check smuggling to increase the bribe payments for smugglers. While better track and trace methods for genuine tax paid goods should be implemented.
Stricter checking of goods in market and mechanism for reporting smuggled goods sold in the market and online should be implemented. Without stopping smuggling there is no use to establish big businesses in Pakistan.

Education in Balochistan

Balochistan is the largest {area-wise} province of Pakistan; however, its literacy rate is very low. The overall literacy rate of Balochistan is 46%. According to UNICEF, 60 to 70pc of girls of school-going age and 67pc of boys are out of school. One of the main reasons for so many out-of-school children is government’s indifference and lack of facilities in government schools. Nevertheless, the government schools and colleges in the province show a bad image as they lack proper facilities; for example, no boundary walls and no clean drinking water. Furthermore, 56% schools have no electricity and 15% schools have turned into ghost schools.
In a nutshell, illiteracy is one of the biggest problems of Balochistan. No doubt, getting quality education is our fundamental right. The provincial government should consider our problems and provide facilities in government schools.
Hub, Balochistan
Fourth option

After PML-N’s and PPP’s complete failure, there was a growing demand for a third party in the country. People were getting enthusiastic gradually on PTI’s call for change. A couple of years ago, we saw a so-called change in the country for the first time in almost thirty years. There were countless expectations in terms of ever increasing inflation and the miseries faced by a common man. However, the PTI government has also failed to deliver on the promises made during their campaign.
Gas, Electricity, fuel and groceries are at their highest ever prices. Furthermore, COVID-19 had made things even worse. I must say a captain cannot win the match alone. All the remaining ten players have to play their part. On the contrary, most of the players in Imran Khan’s team are those who were part of previous losing teams. Therefore, it is high time for the PTI government to mend their ways otherwise the nation will look forward to a fourth option.
Ontario, Canada

flag, song

We celebrated our 72nd Republic Day on 26 January 2021 and it was on this day in the year 1950 that the Constitution of India came into force and our country was proclaimed a sovereign democratic Republic.
For Indians, Independence Day and Republic Day are days to celebrate with the hoisting of national flag, recitation of our national anthem, singing patriotic songs and organising social and cultural events.
Sadly after every Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations, the country’s national flag is strewn on the roads and people irrespective of caste, creed or colour keep stamping on them. As Indians, we should have respect for country’s national flag, national anthem and national song.
Jubel D’Cruz,
Mumbai, India

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