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    This is UNACCEPTABLE!!!

    Folks, if there is tax dodging of this magnitude under Musharraf's impotent and ineffective regime than I fail to understand why should we allow him, his equally inefficient kitchen cabinet or the GHQ to remain in Govt a second longer. I fail to understand what HE is WAITING for. He shows his back to first to religious extremist then sectarian demigods and now tax dodgers. I ask WHAT he has to show for over one and half year in office. Are we asking for too much? I think not. Can for ONCE we can get an administration which can implement real reforms without backing down at the slightest whimper from the regressive forces of status quo. I can't enough lodge my protest at this sorry state of affairs.

    Decision to write off Rs 10-15 bn sales tax

    Beneficiaries include more than 10,000 businessmen owing tax amounts of up to Rs 1 million

    The News International
    By Ikram Hoti

    ISLAMABAD: The federal tax authorities have decided to write off a massive sum of Rs 10-15 billion in sales tax after businessmen
    refused to pay up in the nine months of the current financial year.

    The beneficiaries of this mega write-off, called "liquidation" in CBR terms, would include more than 10,000 businessmen who owe tax amounts of up to Rs 1 million. The total tax arrears payable by businessmen amounted to Rs 30 billion by the end of March 2001. Tax officials are working out the modus ope***** of launching this huge write-off scheme.

    Official sources told The News that the field officials had recently conducted a process of negotiations with the businessmen owing these amounts for securing recoveries of these arrears. But they succeeded only in recovering Rs 4 billion by the end of March 2001.
    The remaining Rs 26 billion remains outstanding. The Central Board of Revenue had previously issued notices of payment to more than 100,000 taxpayers, but the response to these notices has been "extremely poor", say relevant officials. They added that after receiving notices, the businessmen disputed these arrears in appellate benches, tax tribunals and courts of law, both high courts and Supreme Court of Pakistan.

    The judicial wing of CBR has been making efforts to successfully pursue these cases but has not been able to gain substantially. In most cases, the long litigations have frustrated the CBR, and forced it to take a decision that the arrears be liquidated.

    These arrears have been piling up for the last couple of years, with the businessmen disputing them, claiming that unduly high tax rate had been applied, or that their supplies against which the tax had been demanded, were not taxable.

    The CBR has already spent huge amounts, and has been deputing scores of tax officials for securing recovery of these dues. The top
    CBR officials have been making consultations over the past about three months that these
    efforts were futile, and that a liquidation process be carried out.

    This process would start from liquidation of those dues, which have either remained unpaid due to the closure of business, or the litigation has not been in CBR's favour at lower levels, before filing of the cases at higher courts, said sources.

    whats the alternative? benazir? either of the PML factions?

    thanks, but no thanks


      I am sure one of the big5 firms could help gove out here. do some due diligence, and then confiscate properties of idiots who refuse to pay what they owe

      [This message has been edited by Fraudz (edited April 06, 2001).]
      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


        noman, who said I am replacing Musharraf with anybody for that matter. Though that doesn't mean that we should not forcefully persuade him to carry on the original agenda of drastic political reforms at the grass root level, accountability and a strict implementation of checks and balances in the administrative machinery.

        I read about this interview he gave to Herald where he said that he might assume the Presidency. I believe he is trying to keep his options open. There are two ways of looking at it. Either he is after power at all cost like other dictators before him. Or he is sincere and trying to keep control in his hands because he honestly believes that he is a true patriot and only he can maneuver the nation on the right course.

        I tend to believe the later. I have this feeling that this man Musharraf really believes that its his destiny to bring about a change for the better. God knows right now I will not mind a single bit if he remains CE or President only and only if he can prove his worth by implementing forcefully and with zero tolerance all the stringent but progressive reforms needed to sort out the current economic malaise.

        But alas he hasn't shown that as of now. Though I think we are really looking at a developing situation here. We need to take one step at a time. Three things are crucial here. They go as follows:

        1. Local elections are held as planned.
        2. General elections next year as planned.
        3. Constitutional changes with far ranging implications as far as devolution of power to grass roots level is concerned.

        I will really like to see Presidential system in place but that seems impossible right now since both PPP and PML are opposed to it. I can suggest some key constitutional changes but maybe I need to write a separate article on that.

        Basically we need to wait for the above three points to be fully realized and than issue our verdict on Musharraf's decision to assume the post of President if that happens at all that is.


          One should always take the time to read into a report before jumping to assumptions and spraying them all over the place.

          This write off, by looking at the broader picture, is probably a better option under the circumstances.

          There are 10,000+ companies involved in this scheme, and its not that any of those companies is skipping on the taxes. They are contesting them. And challenging those contests against each company will require the hiring of tens of thousands of lawyers, and the government will be be paying its legal dues long after this tax year is over. And the amount they recover after all this litigation might not even be equal to what they actually pay their legal beagles.

          So quit jumping to conclusions based on pure politics. For once, support the government. Things are actually getting better. Take a look with an impartial set of lens.


            Akif, I am with the govt. I am in agreement with you that Musharraf is a better choice than other corrupt parasites in politics. Though really the issue here is a loss of 15 billion rupees at the time where there is a serious balance of payment crisis and not only the exports have missed target but the tax collection is no where close to finance ministry expectations.

            What bothered me most about the report is the frustration of CBR over a wave of long litigations by these tax dodging parasites and plunderer of national wealth in business.These useless, unnecessary and delaying tactics by the tax dodging business segment should be curtailed through executive ordinance. I am sick and tired of the trader biradiri outright refusal to pay their genuine taxes. Yes there is a problem with CBR and it needs to be reformed. But that in no way or shape or form gives the right to businesses to reject paying their damn taxes.

            Musharraf is acting like he replaced Nawaz Sharif through a statewide general election rather than a military coup. He seems to be puzzled if he is a dictator or a civilian head of state. He has all the might of state machinery at his disposal but God forbid if he ever tries to use for implementing progressive reforms. Yes take it slow and steady but in the name of all what this nation stands for atleast atleast atleast don't let the thugs and plunderers of national wealth get away without impunity. Nobody says people will instantly start paying taxes like religion in Pakistan as they do now in States. But
            why not use the damn military might that Musharraf now controls to start a culture of checks, responsibility and enforcement of law.


              Shahbaz...I share your sentiments to a large degree. However, heres a simplistic breakdown of whats going on right now.

              The current setup is not a martial law setup. Its merely a setup being run by the Pakistan Army, and being overlooked by it. It would be unfair for the army to totally take things in their hands and enforce their will rather than ensure safety. So I believe Musharraf is doing the right thing by maintaining mediocrity in his approach.

              Regarding money that is owed to the government, all the loan evaders and kick back champions are under scrutiny by the NAB, and thats the money that is owed to the government without any doubt. And for those monies, the govt has imposed hardlined rules and has taken firm stances. All perpetrators have been forced to pay up or face jail terms. There is no way out for anyone in that. The one mistake that Musharraf made in that regard was letting Nawaz Sharif go, but all in all, I think that has worked out ok for Pakistan as well.

              Regarding the taxation system, it is something that people can always contest as to how much they owe. The government has no way of knowing how much someone owned 5 years ago or 4 years ago. So they cannot fairly assess anyones tax dues based on non-existent information. Hence this is a loophole that many businesses and businessmen will get away with. However, under the current rules, their current wealth and properties are being databased and properly listed. So in the future, noone will be able to contest these tax dues based on any loopholes or flimsy grounds. They are getting away with it once, but not again.

              Getting involved in litigation is very risky for the government, because the govt will hire generic lawyers, since they need them by the bundle. Whereas these multimillion dollar companies have money at hand, and can afford top notch attorneys. Hence they will very likely be able to get away with it. And all the govt will have is no tax collected, and a huge legal bill. So its a wise move at this time to write off these dues and concentrate on what the government can get for sure, rather than waste time on what 'they think they can get'.

              In the meantime, keep the hope alive