Pakistan nation, ululation and olden kings

Muhammad Shahid

PESHAWAR: In the olden times, when people started dying of hunger in a country due to famine, a servant of the king came to the palace, sweating and upset.

“What is the situation?” asks the king.

“My lord, people are dying, there is no bread and butter, no water. Except us in this palace, all out there are malnourished,” answers the servant.

While the king was ruminating, his little daughter sitting beside him tweets: “Papa, if people have no bread, why not they eat cakes!”

An anatomy of the controversial decisions since the incumbent ruling coterie has taken charge of affairs leads one to believe the maxims: “Every coming day is worse than the previous day” and “every new ruler is worse than the previous one.”

While the hue and cry raised by the government servants for no raise in their salaries in the budget was not yet a thing of the past, people got another shock during the incumbent government when the reports started circulating that from July 1, 2013 the mobile phones’ subscribers would pay Rs35 tax on loading Rs100.

Though there were reports earlier that a subscriber would pay Rs35 upon loading Rs100 in his mobile phone, it later became clear that upon loading Rs100, Rs22.61 are deducted since July 1, 2013. Earlier, a subscriber would pay Rs18.66 percent.

At evening on July 1, the Ufone messaged subscribers that

The mobile phone companies are already earning huge profits in terms of taxes and services. The marketing tactics that most of these companies have adopted are surprising.

A message once received by this scribe from Ufone read: “Please dial (xyz) if you want to know about the location of any subscriber, for which Rs(abc) would be deducted as tax.” When this scribe did that, the company charged its tax and replied that they have requested the concerned subscriber for permission to let me know of his/her location. But after that, this correspondent was never informed of the location of the concerned subscriber.

On the other hand, these companies are also earning much through various packages. The fact is that the raise in deduction would definitely trouble the lower-middle class, who usually use prepaid numbers. Most of the underprivileged class does not even know about the post-paid facility and they just load money to their phones.

Many subscribers have decided to switch over to post-paid phone connections as the increase in tax would affect the pre-paid subscribers only.

“I am going to turn my pre-paid number into post-paid soon, as I don’t like to pay extra money in taxes,” said Abdullah, a Peshawarite.

Inayat, who performs a white-collar job in the provincial capital, said the government should ban the various types of call packages, instead of increasing the tax on all pre-paid subscribers.

Barkatullah, another subscriber who normally uses two cellular numbers of different companies, said the companies are minting money through their marketing tactics. “Sometines you are subscribed to a package, for which you have not even applied,” he added.

It is need of the hour that the authorities withdraw the raise in deduction on use of phones and rather lower the deduction amount. Never mind if the authorities do not withdraw it, as there are many other problems that still remain unsolved, and perhaps the nation is getting a tacit reply from authorities that, “If one cannot find bread [in famine], they should eat cakes.” 🙂

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