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Politicians propose tax relaxations for widows, single women

By Ali Hassan

ISLAMABAD: According to a newly published “A Tax Break for Economic Freedom” by Rakhshinda Parveen, political parties seem in favor to further relax tax regulations for widows and single women in 2011-12 budget.

Women in Pakistani society face gender based discrimination that is further strengthened by feudalism. Only effective legislation with no urban bias can address this issue, read a statement contained in the book made by Hasham Babar from Awami National Party (ANP). Tax system in Pakistan is the worst in the world and is continuation of the one in the British Raj that exploits the people. Senator and acting Chairperson Pakistan Red Cresent Nilofar Bakhtiar stated that she fully supported tax relaxation for divorced, single women (above 40 years), disabled women/girls. Tax system and fiscal policy in Pakistan is faulty/ unfriendly with respect to the poor and women. Mrs Qudusia Arshad Chaudhri (PML-N) stated that Tax system in Pakistan was very lopsided and discriminatory. Ms Fiza Junejo (PML-Q) also stressed on the idea that taxation must improve. Relaxation should be given to women in education and health. Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that special provision must be made for women.

Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi (MQM) supported a tax break for such women and any group who needs such an exemption. Ours is not a truly Islamic society in terms of practicing the Islamic values therefore poor in general and women in particular those in lower middle class are subjected to a number of injustices and they do experience violation of their rights, he said. If a tax break can do some remedy and facilitate their economic empowerment, it should be done. Besides Khurram Jahangir Watto (PPPP) and other politicians have also supported that there should be tax relaxation for the widows and single (unmarried) women.

MQM Senator Abdul Hasseb Khan, while talking to Daily Times, said that those who could not afford the basic amenities must be granted some relaxations regarding tax in up coming budget. He said that feudalism and tribalism were mothers of all ills. After 64 years, feudalistic exists in the country, the women face multiple challenges due to prevailing feudalistic set-up, he said.

Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that he fully supported more tax exemption for divorcees, single women (above 40 years), and disabled women/girls. He said that his party would ensure concrete steps on the issue.

Pir Dilawar Shah (ANP) said that nothing could be more cruel and unjust than taxing a disabled woman or a divorcee. In our culture, the burden of blame and shame lies always on a woman, he regretted.

Yaqoob Bizanjo from Balochistan National Party Awami (BNP-A), Haji Khuda Bux Rajar from Pakistan Muslim League Functional (PML- F), Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla from PML (Q), Laiq Muhammad Khan from Mutihida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Raja Muhammad Asad Khan from PML (N), and Umar Cheema from PTI also agreed to the proposal to relax the widows and aged single women in upcoming budget.

Source: Daily Times

Date:4/28/2011

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