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When taxes rob people

11 3 5
14.01.2018

There are legal ways of robbing people. This form of robbery takes place on a daily basis across the globe and in our country – especially through the government.

Let’s consider a few recent instances that reflect what happens to the people of this hapless nation on a daily basis. Last year, I ordered some products over the internet and paid all the shipment charges when I made the purchase. When the goods finally reached me, the postman handed me a statement of charges that amounted to more than Rs3,000. Some of the charges (like warehouse charges) were fairly standard. However, more than half of the amount constituted a ‘refugee tax’.

The postman was of the view that it was the government that has ordered them to collect this charge. My queries to the customs office and the FBR did not provide any information about this mysterious new tax. At most, the response that I have received is: ‘oopar se order hoga’ (It’s probably an order from the government).

Mysterious taxes of this nature tend to surface through various public means, such as in the provision of services (electricity bills, for example). The FR surcharge, the Neelum-Jhelum surcharge as well as the PTV and TR surcharges have already been extracted from our pockets for using electricity provided by the government. There is little or no public........

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