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Amnesty tax laws bill opposed

January 08, 2013

KARL Marx’s theory about surplus labour still holds sway in countries like Pakistan.

Acemoglu and James Robinson, in their monumental work ‘Why Nations Fail’, based on fifteen years of research, rightly concluded that, inter alia, the root cause of widespread discontent in developing economies lies in their poverty as such countries are being ruled by narrow elites which have organised societies for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of the people.

Anatol Lieven in his book ‘Pakistan – A Hard Country’ observed that in the past 60 years many adventures ‘tried to play Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, but they all failed’. He ascribed two reasons for their failure to emulate him. Pakistan remained a country, not a nation. Secondly they compromised on principles in contrast to Ataturk’s firmness and fixity of purpose.

The Federal Board of Revenue is equipped with all statutory powers to bring the 3.195 million tax evaders within the tax net: then why an amnesty bill? Is it for those who made wrongful gains at the cost of millions of the law - abiding taxpayers?

Or is it an attempt to rob Peter to pay Paul? Or is it an endeavour to enable the robber barons to whiten their ill-gotten wealth?    Hats off to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance and the Senate Members of the MQM, PML(N), PML(Q) and ANP who opposed the said Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2012 and advocated on an even playing field for all and sundry.