Partly Facetious: What about a charter on tax reforms?

Writer: Anjum Ibrahim

“I fear Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha may have gone too far.”

“I don’t get it, she is the Finance Minister of Punjab and did a good enough job on the budget 2016-17.”

“I still fear for her.”

“For heaven’s sake why do you think that? I reckon she balanced the politics of our budgets, by making repeated references to the visions of the Prime Minister and the Khaadam-e-Punjab with economics and here I refer to a massive rise in social sector allocations.”

“Where does politics come in?”

“It always comes in with economics notwithstanding Ishaq Dar’s reiteration, inexplicable as far as I am concerned, that all parties must agree on a charter of the economy.

Could someone please tell the guy that different political parties have different economic manifestoes which distinguishes them from each other, true their objectives maybe the same but…”

“You know I went to a post-budget seminar recently and there one man suggested a charter on tax reforms and that may be a good thing.

I mean if all parties agree to a tax system which is formulated keeping in mind the basic principles of equity, fairness and removing all existing anomalies then that may be the best message for the private sector.

A tax system that is unlikely to change for the next ten years say and…”


“What are you? A member of parliament?”

“Why do you say that?”

“Look at the post-budget attendance in the National Assembly? Appallingly poor and from the treasury benches as well as the opposition.”

“But see there is no point in debate. I mean the PML-N has the numbers to pass the Finance Bill 2017, but speaking of Dr Pasha why did you say she may have gone too far.”

“What is the one thing that the PML-N leaders, not the B team, but the A team have engaged in?”

“Offshore accounts and…”

“No silly, let me give you a hint: something to do with their physical appearance?”

“Oh I get it, hair transplants for the men and cosmetics for the women.”

“Right, and Dr Pasha proposes to impose a sales tax on both these sectors.”

“Ah, but you forget my dear – the Sharifs do not purchase goods or services in this country.”

“Hmmm, there is that.” -Business Recorder