Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 7,2011
Admiral Mullen’s threat and the wild accusation against Pakistan has created a crisis in Pakistan at a time when the country is already facing floods in Sindh, a dengue epidemic in Punjab, an insurgency in Balochistan, while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is facing threats from terrorism.

Even in such a situation our FBR issued an SRO to facilitate evasion of taxes by sugar barons, by granting them a waiver from the documentation of additional profits to the tune of Rs25billion. As if this was not enough, on September 24, PIA’s management dominated by foreign nationals, signed a unique agreement with an unknown firm based in Dubai, giving them exclusive rights for procurement of all aircraft parts, chemicals, etc., for a five-year period with guaranteed orders of not less than $40 million annually.

No airline in the world, which is funded by tax payers of a country, or a private-owned commercial airline would hand over the procurement of parts to another firm, but would rather seek quotations for getting the lowest price for items through competitive procurement practices.

At a time when the government has chosen not to seek funds from IMF for budget support, because it refuses to impose more direct taxes from the rich as demanded by IMF, the need of the hour is to ensure that tax evasion and pilferages are eliminated and corruption in state-owned corporations eradicated. Unfortunately, it seems that the corruption mafia within our bureaucracy, politicians and state enterprises, has thought it appropriate to continue with their plunder, while the nation is in the midst of a crisis, our national security is under threat and our economy is facing a shortage of much-needed funds.