Tax evasion

KARACHI: This is with reference to Jameel Bhutto’s letter “Tax evasion” in your issue of February 10. I agree with him when he writes that our “corrupt and inefficient tax machinery can never catch the tax evaders because the latter are powerful enough to escape the clutches of the law”.
In general, the system does not work for those who pay their dues and this is found not only in the case of tax collection but other departments as well. For example, in December 2002, many intending Hajj pilgrims (my wife and I among them) were not able to perform the pilgrimage to the Holy Land because someone in the religious affairs ministry had taken their passports to his house and was charging Rs10,000 per passport to allow the intending Hajis to proceed for Hajj. I don’t think anyone was punished for this crime. It made me poorer by Rs14,000, since this is what the travel agent took as a non-refundable charge.
Shakir Lakhani
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2011