Legalized Corruption - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

The Prime Minister of Pakistan recently has announced a special Tax Amnesty Scheme for the Pakistanis who are non-payers. Those having their assets abroad can benefit from this scheme after paying 2 percent penalty.

This is not the first time that the corruption has been legalized in Pakistan in the name of Tax Amnesty Scheme. It has been done a number of times even earlier by various governments. Every time it has been stated that it will benefit the country and will increase investment in Pakistan, and every time it has failed badly. This was because the intentions of the government were not fair. Most of the Pakistani elites are corrupt, and all the persons of this category are the “brothers” of each other. What can you expect from the corrupt governments except to find and implement ways to safeguard the corrupt people and their looted money?

It is known to everybody that the assets of Pakistani elites, both inland and foreign, are made of the looted money from Pakistan. The share of their legal income taken abroad to save tax is only marginal. Most of this money consists of looted money from frauds, commissions, kickbacks and by other illegal means. They have not earned these legally. These assets are built solely from Looted public money of Pakistani people who are suffering from all sorts of hardships. But the corrupt elite are not bothered and they are all the time busy to help themselves and their corrupt “brothers”. So, this new edition of legalized corruption has come up once again.

The offer to legalize their assets after paying 2 percent of the amount of their assets is nothing but the corruption itself. The whole amount of money from which these illegal assets are made, belongs to the people of Pakistan. Allowing to pay only 2 percent of looted money and to keep 98 percent of it is itself is a corruption and amounts to the dacoity on the public money. The whole amount belongs to the public and has to be spent on providing the health, education, clean water and other necessities of the common man.

I am sure, even this 2 percent of the looted assets will not be recovered. Corrupt people do not keep all the assets in their own names. They keep it in the names of their sons/ daughters and other relatives. The investigation against these politicians will not show anything. And to prove that the assets of their sons/ daughters are in fact made from the corruption of their fathers working in authoritative positions, will take decades. May be that these investigations and trials are not finalized in their life time. After all, in the cases against those whose names were identified in the Panama Papers, not a single person has been punished in the last two years.

In fact, the whole purpose of this exercise, in the last a few days of their government, is to make the illegal assets legal, and to “dry clean” the corrupt politicians before the next general elections so that, in spite of their corruption, they become eligible to contest in the next elections.

Posted on Apr 09, 18 | 12:45 pm