When international fuel prices rise, our Finance Ministry and Ministry of Petroleum promptly increase petroleum prices in Pakistan. The unfortunate reality is that our Finance Minister, representing a government, headed by a business man politician, has refused to lower prices for regular petrol etc, proven that they have no sympathy with the common people of Pakistan. This is a government, during whose tenure, there has been a record increase in duty and tax refunds for exporters and traders, although there has been hardly any substantial increase in exports. It is a government, like its predecessor, whose heart melts when it comes to big investors and even those involved in smuggling expensive limousines, and has no hesitation in granting them waivers while taxing the poor several times on one item.

The FBR under Finance Minister continues to issue SROs to favor the elite, latest being grant of tax relief to airline pilots drawing salary in excess of Rs7 lakh per month, but have no funds to increase salary of doctors or teachers in service of government. Federal government continues to follow ‘Tax Evasion’ policies of their predecessors, resulting in widening gap between rich and poor, even refusing to increase profits on National Savings Schemes, serving widowers, pensioners or disabled, to level that existed in 2008, making it difficult for them to meet basic requirements, with massive inflation resulting in increase of over 60% to 90% in basic food items and utility bills. It has no hesitation in taking over fertile agriculture land from small landholders for construction of housing schemes, garment city or other industrial estates, although there is no shortage of infertile land and the fact that our agriculture produce has reduced drastically, unable to meet requirement of rising population.

S. KHALIL,

Sialkot, January 31.