Children of Lesser gods | Pakistan Today

Children of Lesser gods

It is the moral and constitutional responsibility of the State to treat all citizens equally, offering them equal opportunities, irrespective of their creed, status, faith or ethnicity etc. The priority for state welfare should be the most deprived, or those who while in the active service of the state offer supreme sacrifice, or are permanently disabled, placing moral obligation on the state to look after his/her dependents.

The irony is that while Islamic Republic of Pakistan has shown magnanimity to its paid employees post retirement, it has failed to look after the welfare of citizens of Pakistan, including those who were paying taxes while employed in private or state-owned enterprises. If this country does not have fiscal space to provide welfare to deserving citizens, the least it can do is not tax citizens who invest their life savings in various schemes offered by the National Saving Centre, so that they can survive. In the rare cases when common citizens were allotted plots through balloting in CDA in E12/4 in 1989 or DHA Valley Islamabad in 2009, still await possession.

Unfortunately, all state resources are exhausted in the welfare of its paid elite, giving them pensions, plots and other perks, which even more qualified professionals, cannot imagine even while in service. Former PM Shaukat Aziz through an executive decision enhanced pensions of the paid elite by double, apart from an increase in the number of expensive real estate plots and a house. In some cases, these tax-free monthly pensions today range between Rs 2 lacs to 8 lacs, while citizens getting over Rs 5Lacs profits in a year from National Saving Centre schemes have to pay higher tax, as if they were children of lesser gods.

Malik Tariq