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Date Posted: 07:05:17 01/23/05 Sun
Author: JAVED

By Javed - 01 January 2004

According to DAWN 13.12.2003 and The News International 31.12.2003 the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has set up a 22 member advisory committee with specified jurisdiction to perform the functions of FTO as may be advised to them. The members so nominated mostly are business leaders, tax consultants, experts in banking etc. When Ziaul Haq announced he was creating a Majlis-e-Shurah he told the nations people so coming in the Shura would be most Poise, Naik, God fearing respected by “people” etc. I do remember he further stated that by this exercise a time will come when no body would wish to contest election rather people would go at doors of such poise people requesting and pressing them to please come forward and go to assemblies as their area representatives but these poise people will due to fear of GOD hesitate to take such a responsibility. When nation was told there would be a graduate assembly almost similar things were, if not asked, hoped but the results are before us how “graduate minds” have found their ways. Ziaul Haq forming Zakat system told the nation members of Zakat Committees would be so poise. We keep on reading stories of Zakat Committees. How many hundreds zakat cheques were taken by one Balochistan tribal leaders and how Zakat Committee chairmen spend.

Sometime during 1995 a committee of prominent citizens was also formed by Federal Ombudsman Secretariat Karachi. I do not remember what introduction about this committee was officially given but it was something that these society respected senior citizens would help assist the Federal Ombudsman Office in knowing the peoples civic problems and would help guide assist the ombudsman office in dispensing justice on such issues. There was a long list of such “respected senior citizens” all names of which are not remembered but seeing the name of one person amongst the list I realised what was the fate written on the wall.

One such selected “respected senior citizen” was from a very popular political family from Punjab. This family has a very big posh bungalow in PECH Society Karachi named after their home city in Punjab. During 1950s people living in a then new developing very big locality of Karachi tell horror stories about high ranking businessmen elders of this family. About two years back a sensational story appeared in press how a young 12/14 years domestic servant of the family had disappeared and it was alleged that a named family member might had killed and dumped somewhere. But since family has political linkage no further follow up ever came in press again. This was the family who according to my understanding established the very first Night Club in Karachi. This is a very rich landlord businessman political family. One of the elders early 1960s took a loan of about 8 or 10 thousands for construction of a hut on Kawksbay beach Karachi. Loan was never paid because it was never taken for return. A few years back when a lot of political political hue and cry was rasied for recovery of loans the family elder was summoned by the Banking Court. The loan had accummulated to Rs. 18 or Rs. 20 thousands. The elder on oath in the court stated he today had no money, no earning, his sons give him monthly a Rs. 300 - Rs. 600 and he has no property or money to repay loan. Submitting his statement he walked out of court wearing a costly suit, sat in a waiting big car and driver drove away and court kept staring the car with wide opened eyes.

But I have no doubt and I am confident that FTO new advisory committee comprises of people of high repute, who themselves are paying each and every penny of tax due to the nation exactly in accordance with tax laws and calculating each peny of their income. And I have no doubt that in our today’s New Pakistan where corruption has been eradicated, new reforms introduced have taken their roots, economy continously improvig, this advisory committee will be a blessing from ALLAH THE GREAT and all peoples tax problems through hands of tax machinery will have eliminated when we will read next Tax Ombudsman Annual Report.

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