Kashkol and RGST

kashkolI have said before that people need to stop calling my country a beggar nation and stop saying that our government is some street urchin traveling the world with a begging bowl in hand. Apparently Mian Nawaz is not listening because he’s still using this old insult to criticise the government.

The first reaction I had when I read this was, why are people accusing Mosharraf Zaidi of degrading the mother land when Nawaz Sharif is going around telling the old ‘beggar country’ insult again. More irritating, though, is that Nawaz is saying that not only is the present government holding a begging bowl, but he will do nothing to help change things.

“The incumbent government cannot control the crises in the country, while we don’t even accept a government, which has extended a begging hand. The government did not take the opposition on board while signing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Therefore, the prime minister should not expect any support from the opposition,” Nawaz said while addressing a public gathering. He asked the government to depart from anti-public policies. “We will oppose all such policies,” he announced.

Great. Nawaz Sharif promises to oppose everything, but he cannot provide any ideas of his own. Brilliant.

What really made me laugh, though, was when Nawaz Sharif accused the government of ‘deliberately’ creating the sugar crisis. First, this simply makes no sense. Say what you want about the competence of some government officials, but what government offical would deliberately create a sugar crisis that they knew would cause them problems? In short – what do they stand to gain from a sugar crisis?

The only people who would gain from sugar hoarding and a high sugar price are the owners of sugar mills. Waaaaaiiiit just one minute…I think I am remembering something…what was it now? Some story from one year ago about sugar… Ah yes!

The government disclosed on Friday the names of three big sugar mills and said they were responsible for the current crisis and hoarding of the commodity.

The mills are Tandliawala Sugar Mills, Brother Sugar Mills and Kashmir Sugar Mills. According to the statement, the mills have held back 240,000 tons of the government-purchased sugar, creating an artificial shortage in the market.

Isn’t that Brother Sugar Mills owned by Sharif brothers? Now, I am not going to accuse Sharif brothers of deliberately creating the present sugar crisis, but Mian Nawaz would be well advised to get his own house in order before he goes around making such accusations at others with no proofs at all.

But let’s get back to the thing that really bothers me. While Nawaz is running around accusing the government of carrying a begging bowl, his leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar is calling support for reformed general sales tax (RGST) as a crime.

Why is this such a crime? Altaf Hussain says that RGST will put a burden on the poor, it only proves how completely out of touch he is in his expensive London home. The RGST is actually only a temporary tax for 6 months and only affects people with annual income over Rs.300,000.

Per capita income in this country is only Rs.89,000 and even that number is inflated by the mammoth wealth of people like Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain. Why are these uber-wealthy people complaining about paying a little bit more tax for 6 months only to help the flood affectees? How can we complain about the world not doing enough for flood affectees, when we are not willing do any small thing ourselves?

This is ridiculous. All of these politicians complain about IMF loans, they complain about US aid like Kerry-Lugar, they complain about RGST, they complain about foreign investment like Reko Diq. It’s always a complaint and never any productive suggestions.

Oh, yes, Mian Nawaz has called for his ‘green revolution’ and his ’25 year plan’; Imran Khan talks about ‘revolution’ just like Altaf bhai wants a ‘French Revolution’ (he has been in Europe way too long) – but these are only labels, they are not actual policies. Instead of complaining about policies and saying that that they want some other plan, all these politicans need to come up with some alternative proposal that can be discussed. If they have a better idea, let us all hear it! If they cannot be part of the solution, they are being part of the problem. And we don’t need any more of that, please.

4 thoughts on “Kashkol and RGST

  1. In my opinion the author of this article is completely ill-informed. he does not even know that “RGST” has not been planned for six month only.

    Kindly get good information before writing on such a sensitive issue. I think he is also one of the assocites of the looters company.

    • The post links to news articles that say it is six months only. If that is incorrect, please provide some source. You tell me to get good information, but you can provide none of your own. And why do you accuse me of being an associate of looters company? You are okay telling some lies and slanders against someone you don’t even know? That is a disgrace to you. If I am incorrect about something please provide some source that proves I am incorrect and I will be happy to make a public correction to the article. If you cannot provide any source than maybe you should think about where your own belief comes from.

  2. The flood tax / surcharge is for six months only, while the RGST is here for good. In my opinion politicians say what they say for the sake of cheap publicity. Their populist rhetoric is nothing by that. They are for the most parts, illiterate and ill-informed. RGST could be good. In my humble opinion it should be reduced to lower percentiles like a single figure and no refund should be allowed. As we have seen in past, if the refund system is present many of the claims would be false and many people would start making good deal of money by fraudulent refund claims. So by bringing the RGST to lower levels and not giving the refunds the government can collect good deal of revenue and avoid frauds and corruption. Lets hope the FBR also implements automated system soon so that the corrupt officials in department will not be able to support fraudulent claimants.

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