Hoping against hope


Agriculture has to be imposed in the forthcoming budget for survival of country’s economy; this was stated by Senator Mustafa Kamal.
Addressing a dinner reception hosted by President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain and former Vice President, FPCCI, Khalid Tawab to honour him and newly elected Senators, Nasreen Jalil and Dr Farogh Nasim at a local hotel on Saturday, Kamal said that if government kitty remains empty and did not have money to buy event buy fuel for running power generating plants it must enlarge tax net and that could be possible through imposition of income tax on agriculture sector.
“We have to enlarge our tax net and levying agriculture tax is inevitable”, Kamal said. He said that without empowering local governments no good governance is possible in Pakistan.
While agreeing with the speakers about theft in power sector to the tune of billions of rupees every year he said that empower your local government councilor to collect bills and give him incentive for the job. He said that in order to overcome energy crisis we should go for alternate energy resources such solar and wind energy.
He cited the example of Bangladesh which has successfully overcome its energy shortage through solar energy especially in rural areas. He advised the businessmen that though it’s a difficult time but they should not leave the country. “Do not move to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Dubai or anywhere else and let’s put our own house in order”, Kamala Advised the business community. He hoped that this difficult would be over and businessmen should stay home to revamp economy. The President, India Pakistan Chamber of Commerce of Commerce and Industry, S M Muneer made it clear that there is no way out except imposition of agri-tax in the forthcoming budget as government has alternative source of revenue.
He said that he repeatedly advised the present government to sit together with the stakeholders and find out solutions many problems being faced by the country and the economy is facing worst ever crisis in the history of Pakistan. He said that industries are closing at a fast pace and he can provide a long list of those factories which have been shut down already. He warmed that country would not be able reach even at the level of $23 billion due to the pathetic condition and looming crisis of power and gas. He said that in such a scenario the government has even stopped the refunds of exporters to further add to their woes.
He condemned the acts of violence in the educational institutions and meaningless operation by the Sindh Police in Lyari which yielded no results yet the massive resources and precious lives of police and Lyari people were lost. Mian Zahid Hussain hoped that the rate of sales tax may be reduced in the forthcoming budget and in that way the FBR would be able to enlarge tax base.
He said that economy is in shambles and the government would have to take at least one wise step to levy agriculture tax n the next budget. He said that at least there should be some good steps in the federal budget 2012-13. He said that country is in bad shape right now due to energy crisis despite that fact that there is no shortage of electricity in Pakistan and we have more generation capacity than demand.
He said that the only problem is bad governance. Senator Dr Farogh Nasim said that there should be friendly tax regime in the country in order to revive ailing economy. He urged upon all the races residing in Karachi to own this city and do not live here like foreigners.
“Bringing in peace and harmony in Karachi is the key of political and economic stability in Pakistan”, Nasim said. He advised the chambers of commerce and industry to teach the feudal lords and ask them not to oppose agriculture tax in the National Assembly where they are in majority.
Senator Gul Muhammad Lot said that despite the fact he belongs to ruling party but still he would support levy of agriculture tax in the next budget. Former Chairman, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, Masood Naqi appealed the young senators to raise voice for the business community in the house. Khalid Tawab, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan and Sardar Yasin Malik also spoke on the occasion.


  1. Pakistan's ruling elite is agriculture based, so taxing agricultural income on large land holdings is next to impossible. As these agriculturists (Feudal) make the policies so asking them to tax their income is like asking the bull dog to get its teeth pulled out. Pakistan or no Pakistan, makes no difference to them.

  2. Food crisis is global and engineered/financialized. Incentives are needed to invite people to farming. Why is so called foreign 'investment' i.e casino transactions be taxed instead? How did the Rs. 1 naan become smaller in size and now costs Rs. 6+? Why chase biofuels by using corn (foodl) to gasoline – What will be left to eat?
    The power to tax is the power to destroy~Frank Chodorov.
    Listen to Jim Rogers on farming.

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