IMF MD Kristalina’s repeated advice

 Once again, IMF Managing Di­rector Kristalina Georgieva has advised the Caretaker Prime Minister to “please collect more taxes from the wealthy and pro­tect the poor people of Pakistan.” There is no rocket science in­volved in this, as this is precisely the practice adopted by nations for centuries. She has previously given the same advice to former Prime Minister Shahbaz and his predecessor Imran Khan, among others. It is the root cause of the economic ills afflicting Pakistan and its sovereignty. Every dem­ocratic and sovereign state must impose uniform direct taxation on all sources of income, with no exceptions. 

A country must have enough revenue to conduct the affairs of the state, provide welfare to the most deprived, and invest in hu­man resource development, in­cluding education and health. In­direct taxation should only be levied after a state has exhaust­ed all avenues of direct taxation. Yet, starting in 1958, every dic­tator and civilian government at the helm has persisted in the pol­icy of granting subsidies to the af­fluent elite and protecting cartels, with paid and elected public of­fice holders leading ostentatious lives of luxury at the state’s ex­pense. To achieve self-sufficien­cy in agriculture, it is essential for the state to allocate land to those who till it. This gives them an incentive to increase yields and produce enough agricultur­al food to meet domestic needs and export surpluses. On the oth­er hand, we have promoted ab­sentee land holdings by allotting state lands to paid public office holders for performing duties for which they are already paid.

The people of this country are, in a manner of speaking, responsible because they have allowed both elected and dictatorial regimes to dupe them by exploiting religion, sowing seeds of ethnic and sec­tarian divide, etc., while the elite continues with what it has been doing since 1958. People need to stand up and ask questions of po­litical parties about their econom­ic agendas and plans instead of lis­tening to their tales of suffering, as nobody has suffered more than the citizens of Pakistan.



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