Every citizen is under $350 debt: PEW

KARACHI: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday alleged that FBR has intentionally kept imperfect, corrupt and incompetent to promote the interests of nobility which has made life difficult for masses and buried country in the debt trap.

“Every citizen of the country is under US$350 debt while the incumbent government has made a record by signing agreements of loans worth 52 billion dollars, which country would receive in next five to 10 years, PEW’s President Murtaza Mughal said in a statement issued from Islamabad.

Pakistan received 104 billion dollar of loans and grants since 1960, but it couldn’t stabilise economy or improve social sector because aristocracy was kept out of the tax net, said Dr Mughal.

The nobility was not only spared but allowed to enjoy princely life on the cost of poor which created resistance against tax system in the society. Dr Mughal said that the elite are united to accumulate as much of wealth and power as possible, which has compounded economic disparity, social problems and made Pakistan a country which cannot survive without loans.

FBR and bureaucracy is also bent upon bleeding the masses white while sparing mighty which has resulted in failure to meet target year after year despite repressive taxation, he observed. During 2014-15, FBR failed to achieve target by Rs 222 billion, while the highborn including politicians were given benefits of Rs 800 billion during the same period.

A senior FBR official had publically divulged that there are 3.8 million rich which don’t pay taxes but not a single person was taken to task which proves his preferences. Dr Mughal said that tax system is full of corruption while Bhatta system is transparent; therefore, traders prefer to pay protection money over taxes. Bhatta mafia offers protection while tax officials can only harass taxpayers to pocket around Rs 500 to 600 billion annually.