June 26, 2023 (MLN): In a last-ditch effort to secure the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) funding, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) revised the FY24 Budget with additional taxes of Rs215 billion.
An additional 2.5% increase on salaries has been imposed coupled with a hike in petroleum levy from targeted Rs50 to Rs60 per litre amongst other measures.
As always, the axe to meet higher tax collection targets has yet again fallen on the salaried class whereas lucrative yet practically untaxed sectors like real estate, hospitals, and wholesale enjoy their fattening bottom line.
This increase in taxes will further tighten the noose of those working 9-5 and form the backbone of the economy in the country.
In the backdrop of inflation averaging above 28% throughout the fiscal year, the salaried working class is being squeezed from both sides as expenses rise and incomes shrink. This essentially translates into the exploitation of one segment to achieve revenue targets.
While other economic groups such as the textile manufacturers continue to voice their concerns through front-page newspaper advertisements or meeting with those in power to gain concessions, there is no unified voice for the salaried working middle class which remains unheard.
Their lack of representation and deaf ear from the government has made them the ideal target for any such measures where they can become the scapegoat for the government’s timidness towards sectors that have the resources to walk amongst the power corridors.
These circumstances have left the qualified middle class of the country which is working day and night to improve their status to move abroad away from the economic mess in Pakistan, sometimes at the cost of their own lives.
The recent boat tragedy in the Mediterranean is one of the many examples where disillusioned youth has risked their lives (and often time their family’s entire savings) to migrate towards Europe for the promise of a better life.
As per the data published by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, nearly 315,000 Pakistanis left the country between January 2023 to May 2023 for better job opportunities in other countries.
During the last three years, more than a million people have left the country in search of better opportunities. Based on these trends, it seems likely that the most-qualified talent pool in the country has already left or is planning to leave the country as life becomes extremely difficult in Pakistan.
At this rate, it has become essentially impossible for the country’s working class to own a home or purchase a car. Life has become extremely difficult for them. The onus for this catastrophic failure lies not upon one single political party but also upon the other elements that have countless times interfered in matters outside of its domain.
The absolute lack of attention towards the plight of the salaried class and continuous exploitation will inevitably lead to a mass exodus in the next few years as the country’s economic outlook looks bleaker by the day.
If the government fails to take the necessary measures, the flight of talented individuals will only speed up. These individuals make up the backbone of the corporate sector and are primarily responsible for the success of many top tax-earning and exporting sectors of the country.
Copyright Mettis Link News
Posted on: 2023-06-26T09:52:38+05:00