It is a blatant lie that there are only 1% tax filers who are supporting the taxes of the whole country. Government has files of taxpayers who are giving huge amount of indirect taxes, they must be called filers too!
Government must give tax receipt of the withholding taxes that people deposited through electronic means, for example, 130 million mobile subscribers + electricity subscribers + bank account holders. Currently, for all individuals, CNIC has replaced the NTN as National Tax Number. No new NTN is being issued to individuals anymore.
Therefore, the government has all the “files” of withholding taxes, CNIC wise, of 130-150millions phone subscribers, millions of electricity and gas subscribers, millions of vehicles registrations, all property transactions in DC offices, all banking taxes,… They are all filers. The number of such “filers” whose data is with the government would be at least 60% of population.
We first demand a compilation of these filers from nincompoop government departments. Government must give me receipt of the tax they had withheld. Why should I obtain the receipts from each withholder and file them again with Nicompoops of FBR?
“Please note that bulk of our taxes (55%to 58%) are indirect taxes, the burden of which is disproportionally on the shoulders of the poor and lower middle class. 40% of the population is engaged in agricultural activity, but adding only 21% of GDP. So they are paying disproportionally lesser tax.
60 % of the population is largely settled in urban areas and is producing 59% of GDP. They are paying both indirect and direct taxes.
But saying that only 1 % of people pay taxes is a highly irresponsible statement. People are virtually groaning under the burden of indirect taxes.
While in principle agriculture is subject to income tax but it is still with the provincial governments and income tax yields are small.
The services sector is highly bloated, comprising 58% of GDP. In the financial sector even middle-level employees are making more than half a million per month.
The biggest constraint is the consistently low level of growth rate, particularly in the commodity sector and its limited spinoff( multiplier) effect on employment, exports, dependence on imports and general welfare.”
[Last four paragraphs are quoted from comments of Mr Ashraf Janjua, ex-Deputy Governor of SBP, ex-Dean of CBM, and author of 4Volume History of SBP.]
It is indeed true that time and again, the governments in power embarrass us for doing our nation a huge favor in the form of indirect taxes. There is no good or service in Pakistan that is tax-free; from birth (expenses that parents bear before birth and at the time of birth) to death (burial places, are sold for a price). Historian Richard Hofstadter’s statement comes to mind “It is the Crassness and anti-Intellectualism of governments in power” this is true and is reminiscent of the statement that you shared above that mentions that only 1 percent of tax filers support the taxes of the whole country. Instead of calling us tax thieves, these governments in power should have thanked the Pakistani nation for not rising up and burning down the rent-seeking edifice(Government).