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    "Dirty Dozen"


    Police top 'dirty dozen' chart


    By Sabihuddin Ghausi

    KARACHI, May 30: Out of 12 selected government agencies in Pakistan, a survey has found police to be the most corrupt followed by lower courts, WAPDA, Income Tax, land revenue, customs, passport and identity card.

    Municipal corporations and development authorities, sales tax, PTCL, government-run hospitals and schools were also found to be nests of corruption but relatively at a lesser degree than police and other departments.

    Corruption ratings of these "dirty dozen" agencies was done by the Special Task Force on Reform of Tax Administration which made a detailed presentation of its report to the Chief Executive Gen Pervez Mushrraf in Islamabad early last week.

    Headed by Syed Shahid Hussain, a former executive of the World Bank, the Task Force includes ten other members drawn from various disciplines and professions. It has recommended sweeping changes in the country's tax administration and, as expected, has earned the wrath of the "status quoist" tax administrators and bureaucrats.

    The Task Force solicited views from a selected group of persons who included taxpayers, tax administrators and those who represented civil society. A five-point scale was drawn up in which one point represented "very little corruption" and five points "extremely widespread corruption".

    None of the "dirty dozen" qualified for the lowest or the highest, either one point or five points, but police earned 4.20 points followed by lower courts which secured 3.30 points. Wapda obtained 3.21 points in corruption, Income Tax department 3.21, Land Revenue 3.15, Customs 3.04, passport and identity card 3.04.

    The panel of respondents gave 2.80 points in corruption to municipal corporations and development authorities, 2.75 points to sales tax, 2.61 to PTCL, 2.46 to government hospitals and 1.96 points to government-run schools. "These ratings are important in two ways," the Task Force report says and adds "first, they are an indicator for government of Pakistan about its priorities, if it launches a department to department anti-corruption campaign". "Second, these can be used as baseline data to measure any change, trends in corruption, or impacts of any anti-corruption campaigns," the report said.

    An overwhelming majority of the respondents (80 per cent) whom the Task Force approached to seek their views considered all previous corruption reduction measures as "complete failures". The reasons given for this failure are the lack of sincerity of policy-makers, selective application of laws, enforcers themselves being corrupt and lack of understanding of the complexity of corruption.

    Respondents were also asked by the Task Force to comment on the effectiveness of some initiatives to reduce corruption in the public sector, such as outright dismissal of bureaucrats by Ayub, Yahya and Bhutto regimes, institutions of checks and balances within the organisations like Ombudsman, Ethesab cell by previous governments. Many felt these initiatives were politically motivated, insincere and focussed too much on punishment.

    There was a unanimous view that various tax amnesty schemes had helped in spreading corruption rather than curbing it. The 272-page report carries a whole chapter on corruption, spread over 26 pages and divided into six sub-chapters.

    Specific instances of corruption at policy level have been given in the report. One of such methods is the overnight changes in import duty structure by the CBR by issuing an SRO. These were linked to import of BMW cars, steel items, sugar export to India on which a rebate of Rs 4,500 per ton was given.

    An interesting example is cited of a retired tax administrator who visited CBR twice in his whole career for official work. "Both the times I had to pay Rs10,000 for my work", is how this tax administrator relates his experience, which speaks volumes about what's going on behind the high walls of CBR.

    The Survey found corruption more endemic in Income Tax department where 78 per cent employees are rated as corrupt and Customs where 76 per cent of employees are seen as corrupt. Sales tax is seen relatively less corrupt by both the taxpayers and tax administrators. The explanation is "it is a new tax and nobody fully understands it".

    In an hypothetical exercise, the survey found that for each hundred rupees of genuine income tax payments of a Pakistani business enterprise, the government can collect only Rs36. The assessor, assessee and the middleman tax practitioner share Rs64 among themselves and obviously the assessee gets the highest share to justify his deal.
    http://www.dawn.com/2001/05/31/top9.htm

    When your Muhafiz are like that, how can you gaurantee the sanctity of your home? is'nt is sad.


    #2
    i believe that order will not be any different in india. police will top the list. passport corruption in india has more or less finished because govt declares schmes to gather more money for quicker passport so money goes to govt. if u need passport quick.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ZZ:
      i believe that order will not be any different in india. police will top the list. passport corruption in india has more or less finished because govt declares schmes to gather more money for quicker passport so money goes to govt. if u need passport quick.
      Well, its not the quickness of passport. In Pakistan you can get an urgent passport within the same day.

      The corruption is due to those who are otherwise ineligible for passport. Like a large number of Afghan refugees got Pakistani passport illegally. Also a very large number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. So, anyone who does not have a valid document to establish citizenship and hence get a passport, used to get one using illegal means and corruption.

      I may add, that since Oct 99, the rampant corruption has gone down, since the army is monitoring all these civic agencies, but allegedly the rates have gone up for rishwat, as those who still indulge in it, have a higher fear of being caught, and consequently charge a higher amount.

      For whatever its worth....

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by mm10:
        In an hypothetical exercise, the survey found that for each hundred rupees of genuine income tax payments of a Pakistani business enterprise, the government can collect only Rs36. The assessor, assessee and the middleman tax practitioner share Rs64 among themselves and obviously the assessee gets the highest share to justify his deal.
        This is a piece of crap. I have no doubt that there is tax evasion, but how come they put the tax practitioner in there too. If they have put in the fee charged by income tax professionals for expert advice in there, then I am sorry to say that it is never part of government collection anyway. And for major corporations (on a macroeconomic standpoint, individuals pay peanuts anyway) the charges of their tax consultants can be substantial. So if that is the case, then I have severe doubts about this hypothetical example's Rs 100.

        If for example, the IT deptt asked a company to deposit Rs 1 million as tax, and they contested it in the court, and lets say the court said that IT department has made a mistake and you only pay Rs 350,000. And lets assume the tax consultant charged the company Rs 100,000 (the company still saved Rs 550,000). I don't think it is fair to assume that Rs 1 million was the money government owed, or that the Rs 100,000 paid to the tax consultant was a black market transaction.

        In almost all such studies, to glamorize the effect of corruption all these monies are pooled to show as if we are facing a huge problem, where it may not be as big.

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