ECP asked to block tax cheats from contesting

KARACHI: The Pakistan Economy Watch PEW on Sunday said future of the country could not be entrusted to politicians who had remained involved in massive tax evasion.

Election commission should take concrete steps to stop politicians involved in mass scale tax evasion from contesting parliamentary elections, it said in a statement.

Around 70 percent of politicians, many billionaires, don’t pay taxes to discharge their obligations and at the same time ask masses to pay taxes to finance their luxuries, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

The behaviour of politicians is highly inappropriate which indicates that they take politics as a profitable business and consider country as their landed estate, he added. Mughal said that masses would never pay taxes voluntarily in the unfair tax system as they knew that politicians having billions evade taxes, get exemptions and look for foreign donors for help.

“The efforts of the FBR to improve tax-to-GDP ratio and other reforms will remain futile as tax compliance in Pakistan will have to start from the top and work its way down, he observed.

The salaried class, business community and some professionals are paying taxes to some extent but many industrialists and landed elite are evading tax while feasting on national resources pushing country under unmanageable debt.

”He noted that the plunder of national resources and robbing masses had reached to the proportions where the survival of country seems on stake while the ruling as well as opposition parties seem totally unconcerned.

Pakistan cannot afford another spell of the democracy by incompetent leaders politically and economically, he said adding that incumbent rulers have proved themselves biggest obstacle in making Pakistan a real democratic country.

Mughal said that Pakistan had a chance if Election Commission succeeded in partial implantation of Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution otherwise we will face a crushing defeat without a war.

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