Dealing with tax evaders
Sir: There are reports that the government is considering an amnesty scheme for non-filers and tax evaders. Many such amnesty schemes were launched in the past and unscrupulous elements took full advantage to whiten black money. The fact is such schemes only help those who have looted the country and the government should not declare any amnesty scheme now, or ever. It is well-known that among the non-filers there are smugglers, black marketers, hoarders and others who habitually evade taxes by staying out of the tax net. Their illicit activities result in rampant inflation, exponential increase in property prices and weakening of the state. If the country is to survive and progress, the government should take the following steps:
1. Give a deadline to all non-filers to get registered immediately. They should be made to pay at the full tax rate the entire amount they have evaded over the past 10 years.
2. Arrest all those non-filers who resist. Those who give calls for strikes should be tried in court.
3. Seize the assets of all non-filers and ask utility companies to stop supplying electricity, water and gas to them.
4. The children of all non-filers should be removed from their schools and should be forced to be educated in government schools.
5. All immoveable and other properties of non-filers should be auctioned immediately and the proceeds distributed among those honest citizens who have been paying taxes regularly.
6. The names of all non-filers should be published in newspapers and they should not be allowed to leave the country. Such thieves and dacoits should know that the state can strip them of their nationalities.
7. Their passports and identity cards should be cancelled, and they should be sentenced to many years imprisonment with hard labour.
All taxpayers should get united and urge the government not to declare another amnesty scheme but deal firmly with criminals and anti-Pakistan people like non-filers and tax evaders.

Shakir Lakhani
Printed in Daily Times, October 23, 2015