Why are you silent on the amnesty bill for property sector thieves, Imran Khan?
It has finally happened. For the past five months, our government strongly resisted pressure from property sector players to grant them amnesty to retain stolen money. This week, the National Assembly – composed mainly of crooks – approved a bill which will enable these thieves to whiten their black money by paying back only 3% of the amount that they have looted from the nation.
Property investors and builders are jubilant. This scheme allows them to whiten seven trillion rupees instantly, while paying a piddling amount to the exchequer. Prices of their plots, bungalows and apartments will undergo a phenomenal increase, making it impossible for the common man to own a house. And it looks like this will continue long into the future, so that not only past crimes but future ones will also be whitewashed and the country will always be poor, with no possibility of improvement in health care, education and infrastructure.
By providing amnesty to tax thieves, the government is encouraging corruption, instead of trying to eradicate it. And it is not being fair to honest tax-payers, who pay up to 35% tax on their income, while those crooks who do not pay their taxes are being rewarded every couple of years by availing the fruits of amnesties. Will this not make honest people feel that they are fools, because those corrupt people who evade taxes will never be punished?
To put things in perspective, look at how India has treated its tax thieves. Black money holders first had to pay 45% to whiten their ill-gotten wealth. Then the government demonetised high denomination notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000. Recently, the Indian government imposed a 50% penalty on black money, with the tax evaders having to deposit money for four years and another 25% into a government fund to help the poor.
This is how nations become great, and whatever you say about Narendra Modi, he is at least sincere to his country and doesn’t want it to become a failed state. Our shameless leaders on the other hand, are bent upon destroying Pakistan. Instead of demonetising currency notes of Rs5,000, and prize bonds of up to Rs40,000, they are encouraging corruption by rewarding those who have milked the country dry.
I know it is useless to ask people like Ishaq Dar and Nawaz Sharif to think of the country’s future – they are only there to enrich themselves – but what about Imran Khan? Why has he not said a word against this wholesale and open robbery, which will ultimately do great damage to the country? I thought he was against corruption, but by being silent on this issue, it seems he (or his cronies) will also benefit from this scheme.
Come on, Mr Imran Khan, speak up; fight this bill, go to the courts and get it revoked. Otherwise, history will remember you as just another crooked politician of the country.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.