I RECENTLY saw an advertisement on illicit cigarette trade causing Rs44 billion loss to the national exchequer. I am extremely shocked to see how illegal businesses are damaging Pakistan’s economy and are not even being challenged and held accountable.
In 2018, I again voted for Imran Khan and when his government came to power, my expectations were as per his promises that he would end corruption and save Pakistan from the looters. But after two years, it is really sad to see that the corrupt people are still operating openly, and we have been paying our taxes on our incomes, higher taxes in fact.
However, big illegal companies which are making billions of rupees are not paying taxes and our country continues to bleed.
As mentioned in the advertisement, millions of students can be educated every year with this amount. I think this is what we pay taxes for — to further the progress of our nation.
But if these illegal traders continue to steal money by evading taxes and breaking laws, how can our nation excel and keep up with the developing world? I urge Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against this illegal cigarette trade and fulfill his promises.
Siraj Muneer Soomro
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2020