SMOKING BAN: Recently, I happened to travel to Dadu in a local bus in which passengers were constantly smoking cigarettes throughout the journey. When the bus stopped at a hotel on the way, I found many people were smoking there, too. Smoking is associated with a multitude of serious health issues, including breathing problems, cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Considering these health risks, it is imperative that cigarette smoking be banned in public areas and workplaces to safeguard the health of both the smokers and the non-smokers who are forced to become passive smokers.
AIR QUALITY: Many media houses, especially newspapers, routinely publish carbon statistics and air quality indices to keep their respective audiences informed, so that they may take, when needed, appropriate pre- cautionary measures. However, the trend has not received any attention in Pakistan. Major cities, like Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi, have suffered and are suffering from fast deteriorating air quality. Mainstream publications would do well to allocate a section for highlighting air quality status of major urban centres on a daily basis.
Muhammad Azam Khan
TAX PROCEDURE: A concern shared by many is the inability of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to establish and run an uncomplicated system for people to easily file their taxes and wealth statements. The existing procedures, shrouded in complexity and demanding excessive documentation, discourage compliance, adding to the number of those who evade taxes. The FBR must prioritise simplifying the process and reducing obstacles in order to encourage widespread tax transparency and compliance. Together, we can reshape the taxation system for the betterment of the country.
Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2023