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Date Posted: 06:44:17 01/23/05 Sun
Author: JAVED

By Javed - 22 February 2002

Chairman, National Accountability Bureau has the other day appealed people to bring to the notice of government cases of property and other assets made by politicians and bureaucrats with ill gotten money or misusing authority so that action could be taken against them.

Since Junco government a tendency has started each new successive government trying to give an impression to the nation that top agenda of new government is to kill borrowing, live through self resources by tapping all doors of leakage’s and in this regard people are advised to report cases of corrupt people with a promise name will not be disclosed.

First such a slogan was vigorously raised by Dr. Mehboobul Haq as Finance Minister. His contention was if all taxes like income tax, sales tax, duties etc are paid honestly government then does not to take international loans or increase prices. He appealed in the name of patriotism citizens to bring to his notice areas of tax evaders. As a too stupid foolish man (all patriotic honest and sincere citizens are stupid) my patriotism boiled.

I was not then of age as today. I was fool then. Every one of us reads so many "in box" advertisements in national newspapers specifically on Sunday editions or pamphlets being distributed on bus stands etc from some "Bari Bajee" or "Baba Jee" claiming that grand father of their grand father was once travelling in jungle where he saw a sick old man. This grand grand father attended this sick man who in return donated a "prescription" to grand grand pa which cures all complicated diseases like cancer, sugar, infertility etc. And today these grand grand sons only and only for humanity sake were dispensing this family inherited prescription "Free Free". The sick man had cautioned the grand grand pa if he ever charged for the prescription the "secret healing element" will lose its effect.

Knowing well the truth of all such "free" medicines I addressed two such advertisers one named Baba Jee and the other Chan Bava at Lahore. I addressed them in broken urdu handwriting posing as if I was a semi literate worker. In return both Baba Jees, as expected, told me through their very costly printed letter heads containing telephones and faxes (fax machine was then being used only by private big international companies and banks only) that the cost of their prescriptions was Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 13,000 which was only cost of herbs used and did not include any labour which the family was doing in preparation of the medicine. And according to these Baba Jees "dozens" of people every day obtain this. In other words it meant each Baba Jee was earning at least Rs. 15000/- per patient this medicine. Multiply this daily income by 365 days of a year whereas a person earning Rs. 40,000 annually then was under tax net.

I forwarded both these letters to all income tax commissioners by name listed in the Lahore telephone directory to know if these two Baba jees were paying income tax in proportion to their incomes. None replied but I kept on sending reminders. Seeing a stupid man in his so-called patriotism was not stopping a P.S to a commissioner income tax gave a short reply saying one baba jee had closed his business and other had shifted to Rawalpindi. For more than a year I kept on sending reminders to this PS that point was not if Babajees have run away rather the point is had they been paying income tax in proportion to their income when they were operating in Lahore or were they just paying Rs. 700/- income tax like one of our ex prime minister or none at all. This PS later never turned back. His silence was the answer..

Sometime during perhaps in 1996-97 a similar empty routine slogan was raised for enhancing the tax net. Since bad habits do not die this fool again addressed to a regular advertiser offering free treatment. He quoted me Rs. 14,000/- which was only cost of material and was likely to increase soon. This time having experience with income tax commissioners I directly by name addressed Chairman Central Board of Revenue Islamabad.

While I was expecting a thank you letter from Chairman CBR which till today never came, I got in 10/12 days from date of my addressing the Chairman CBR a letter from said advertiser saying " we thought you were a good man but you are a "......." [can not write here]. I addressed the chairman CBR how it was possible that from within his own office the letter so speedily was siphoned out to the Baba Jee? He never replied. When I addressed Nawaz Sharif in response to his appeal to public I got a letter from an income tax officer advising me to "submit proofs" about evasion of taxes rather than finding out from the departmental files if such parties were paying income tax proportionate to that which such parties claim on their letter heads "patients daily" were visiting them .

Every week box advertisements whole the year in different national dailies, printing of pamphlets and engagement of huge manpower to put these through buses windows, through your car window on each traffic signal of the country costs a lot. One how can spend so much how much would be his income?

So if a member of public someone foolishly passes on such an information, if he had any, then it means he should also be ready to submit "proof".

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