Imran sees contest between passion and money
LAHORE, Nov 21: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan says the next elections will be a contest between passion and money.
Speaking at the Lahore Tax Bar Association here on Wednesday, he said enthusiasts of his party would challenge the moneyed candidates of other parties in the polls.
He said as the masses were being crushed because of overspending by the rulers, he would present himself for accountability (when in power) to set in the revolution.
He said the boundary wall of the governors’ house in Punjab and other provinces would be demolished to convert them into public libraries.
Referring to the completion of five-year term by the incumbent governments, he said this was completion of the era of ‘muk muka’ (deal) and not of democracy.
He rejected an amnesty scheme approved by the cabinet on Nov 12 as a slap on the face of taxpayers and a step towards decriminalising the crime of tax evasion and plundering of national wealth.
“It is rightly called as ‘financial NRO’ as the corrupt government has decided to exempt the beneficiaries from being grilled by the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency,” he said.
He said the National Assembly could not pass it as Money Bill [titled Finance (Amendment) Bill 2012] because it intended to amend many laws that were not fiscal in nature.
“If it is approved by the National Assembly, it will be a blatant violation of Constitution and Supreme Court’s judgments,” he said quoting a couple of judgments of the superior judiciary.
Such schemes, the PTI chief said, announced at random, were against Article 25 of the Constitution as they violated the guarantee against arbitrary decisions under the whims and fancies of the rulers.
Besides, it favours unscrupulous taxpayers, leading to unjustified and hostile discrimination resulting in a violation of equality clause of the Constitution, he said.
He predicted that the scheme, amounting to approving the crimes of tax evasion, rent-seeking and money laundering, would have pernicious effect on the moral fabric of society.
All such moves, he said, compromised integrity and placed a premium on vulgar and ostentatious display of wealth. “This shatters the faith of the common man in the dignity of honest labour and virtuous living,” he said.
The PTI believed that people would only pay taxes as long as they were sure that their taxes were used for the benefit of the masses not wasted.
He said if voted to power the PTI would make laws to punish tax-evaders and the money realized from seizure of untaxed assets would be use to resolve the problem of resource mobilization and help plug the huge tax gap.