Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Story of a Tax Payer… Another Triumph of Status Quo

Few years back in Faisalabad, when Ali took over business from his father, he decided to pay all payable tax. He asked his staff to prepare proper tax return. The tax amounted to half a million as compared to fifty thousand in past ie ten times more. He was advised to maintain status quo which meant paying small tax and continue paying ‘fair share’ to tax authorities. But he insisted on paying the exact amount. When tax authorities were approached, they again asked for their share. The company told them that there was no tax evasion and they are voluntarily paying the true amount. Taxers began to tax Ali’s patience and made his life miserable. It took his company unbelievable amount of time and effort to pay the exact tax. If he continued to pay the full tax, tax authorities could have been deprived of their share, hence, they brought him to his knees. Finally, the young entrepreneur gave in and agreed to pay tax the old way. However, for next financial year, tax authorities doubled the amount of their share because ‘lot of effort had gone in convincing him to pay the old way’.

Ali is, now, Masha Allah, a successful entrepreneur in Canada.

We must accept the reality that a great number of people in this country are fed up with Status Quo. That is the reason their frustration is not limited to drawing room whining, they are out of their comfort zones and out on roads. No more qualms about people not standing up for their rights. Mostly, young, aware and faithful Pakistanis have rallied under the umbrella of PTI to break the status quo. The inertia has broken. But beware of the old ‘crocs’, who have buckled up to save the status quo under the garb of constitution and laws. The book of laws which these lawmakers have made to protect their interests like centralized control of resources, like becoming third time Prime Minister of the country, like immunity to the high office holders and so on. Ostensibly, the book contains all the good things and assurances for welfare and security to the people of Pakistan. However, only welfare and security to the people of Pakistan is missing. Well, it is just a book of clauses tailored by lawmakers to suit their design of play. Generation after generation, their hegemony on resources of this country and regime of organized corruption is preserved. Why can’t it be changed? But for that we need to emplace correct set of lawmakers.

Growing up in a country where politics used by synonymous to corruption, I always felt sorry for people attending political rallies. A political rally never appeared to a sign of hope rather a directionless mob pursuing pointless agenda. Always wondered why these people are wasting their time and energies on perpetuation of status quo. But now it feels different. The attendants of Azadi March and Dharna come across as hope for change. Naïve to impediments of red tape and frugal laws, people have stood up for change. Be warned, if we fail to grab on to the opportunity for change offered to us by the circumstances, our future generations will never forgive us.

Yet, it is sad to note that justice is a luxury in our country. Like other luxuries of life it is accessible to select few who can afford other luxuries of life. Since most the people are living without basic necessities of life, hence, they are not afforded the luxury of justice as well. As the cliché goes, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. If FIR on cold blooded death of fourteen Muslim Pakistanis could not be registered in third month running, then judiciary and executive are just serving the political interests of the govt. No wonder Tahir ul Qadri was crying like a baby for poor and helpless of this country. However, like, Ali, the poor and downtrodden also have a better place to go…Heaven J