Reports that 34 posh markets, located all over Pakistan, paid just Rs 700 million tax is shocking and reflects upon the massive corruption and complicity of revenue officers in the FBR in this conspiracy against the state. Out of 10,122 retail traders of these posh markets, only 3,531 are registered tax-payers. These retailers, with their big shopping plazas, shops and arcades, where there is always a traffic jam, cannot be guilty alone, for this crime.
The annual tax collection of Rs 54.558 milion and Rs 0.082 million from Karachi’s Tariq Road and Forum Mall respectively are shocking, so are the Rs 55.363 million and Rs 59.686 million from Lahore’s Liberty Market and Anarkali Bazar along with Rs 11.956 million and Rs 16.019 million respectively from Peshawar’s Khyber Bazar and Qissa Khawani Bazar. The situation in the Federal Capital Islamabad is also very bleak, where Rs 2.037 million and Rs 3.219 million were paid by Aabpara Market and Super Market.
These retail shoppers all over Pakistan sell smuggled goods worth billions of rupees on which no duty has been paid. The recent revelation that Rs 37 billion import duties were evaded when over 10,000 NLC containers under fake ISAF documentation went missing proves the extent of involvement across the board in this crime by Customs, Excise, Security Agencies, NLC etc, and their political patrons.
No wonder Pakistan is becoming poorer by the day while individuals are becoming richer. In order to facilitate the corrupt to transfer their ill-gotten billions to foreign countries, liberal fiscal policies have been evolved to protect them.
MALIK TARIQ ALI