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Is it so easy to blackmail the government?


May 24, 2020

Islamabad : At times one wonders how spineless and helpless the governments, the federal as well as the provincial, turn out to be against the ‘cartels’ that are out there to exploit general public, especially those belonging to lowest, lower and lower-middle strata of society.

The latest example was the ‘ridiculous’ dialogues between the governments and the private transporters. One can only express shock and dismay as to how these people can so blatantly challenge and violate the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) put into force by the federal and provincial governments if they want to start their operations!

On one hand, these transporters had been protesting and pleading, against and to, the government to let them resume their business.

They always cried for special compensation/relief packages to mitigate the losses they had suffered because of being pushed out of business following the imposition of ‘lockdown’ by the government to prevent spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Each time any of these businessmen, be those the ‘Shadi Hall/Marque’ operators, transporters, Shopping Mall owners, entertainment industry operators, small and mid-level industrialists talked about the losses they have suffered, the amount was always mentioned in billions!

One wonders if the amount of losses they claimed they have suffered, would this not be a golden opportunity for the government or the FBR or any other relevant departments to take them on their words and sift through records as to how much income tax and other taxes they are supposed to pay have been paid by them in the past?

The amounts of losses these people are pushing forward they have suffered over a period of two or three months are fabulous, none mentioning losses less then billions of rupees!

Whomsoever the government tries to follow the laws and rules, they instantly go on strike, making the government to bow eventually. Just like the flour mill owners did a few days back.

However, right now it is the transporters who are openly challenging the writ of the federal and provincial governments for following the SOPs! They are not ready to reduce the number of passengers they will be carrying in their vehicles.

They have refused to scale down the fares despite the fact that the POL prices have gone down considerably low. They are openly over-charging from the passengers who are stranded in different cities and towns all over the country and are desperate to go to their homes to celebrate Eid with their families.