The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched an aggressive campaign to collect taxes. The recent amnesty scheme brought more than 91,000 people into the tax net and garnered more than Rs42 billion for the government, mainly from middle-class, law-abiding citizens.
While the tax collecting agency is taking effective steps, it must also crackdown against the bloodsucking, corrupt and bribe-taking government officials. They have jobs in organisations such as development authorities, water boards, police and other law-enforcement agencies. Even clerks working in courts reportedly make more money through illegal means than highly educated and competent people in the private sector. Government jobs should cease to be an opportunity for money-minting, bribery and nepotism.
If the FBR can dig records of tax evaders in the private sector, it surely and easily can obtain and scrutinise financial details of the incumbent and retired officials who have served the state and ended up with assets beyond their known means of income. The FBR should penalise and tax them without leniency in the same way as the people in the private sector. Corruption should be eliminated if we have to make progress. We will remain in a state of stagnation if we do not get rid of the monster of corruption.