Demands of property sector

Sir: Property sector stakeholders have threatened to go on strike if the government does not accept their demands. Why is the government even negotiating with such people?  They have indulged in massive tax evasion and have manipulated property prices to such an extent that the average Pakistani can never even think of buying or building a house of his own. The law says that those who evade taxes must be penalized, yet these racketeers are forcing the government to accept their highly reduced property valuations and grant them an amnesty. If the government gives in and announces an amnesty for them, what message will it convey to those who have been paying their due taxes all their lives? It should strictly enforce the law and penalize those who have cheated on taxes and recover taxes and penalties based on the actual prices paid. And it should ignore their threat of going on strike, even if they go on strike for the whole year, the loss to the exchequer will be negligible.

Printed in the Daily Times, July 31, 2016