Showing posts from August, 2015

Non-Filer Blues

Policy making in Pakistan is an amateur parlor game—everybody plays policy on TV, in drawing rooms and wherever they like and all without reading, investigating or learning about how the rest of the world makes policy. And let me hasten to add this is not just the current PMLN government—all governments in our history have done this.
Some powerful person in their tremendously busy VIP schedules picks up stray ideas. Bureaucrats beholden for their careers to the powerful people, rush to implement these suggestions. No time to think, investigate, understand—after all development must not wait for thought, debate and investigation. None of them even think that some of these ideas may be self-serving and perhaps a further investigation may be required. Nowhere is this more apparent than in tax policy.All of us live with new and crazier proposals every few weeks. Arbitrary taxes on energy, Internet, school fees, cars, houses, consumption, mobile phones, bank transactions, airplane ticket…