RAWALPINDI: This is with reference to the commendable policy of the government allowing 100 per cent house tax exemption to retired government employees for one house in any one of the cantonments.
Meanwhile, pensioners are required to submit a complex certificate every year, which requires two documents attested by a graded officer and an affidavit by a Class 1 magistrate to establish their credibility.
It is a typical bureaucratic culture inherited from British colonial rulers to treat local citizens as untrustworthy.
It is beyond comprehension that a pensioner can cheat and escape with house tax beyond reach of the Cantonment Board as the owner of a house worth several lacs to crores on leased land unless bound by complex legal procedures. It is pertinent to mension here that PM Narendra Modi’s government has restored the dignity of Indian citizens by abolishing attestation by graded officers and permitting self-attestation in May 2014; one can vide a letter by an Indian on self-attestation, suggesting the same to Pakistan.
I appeal to the worthy PM that, like India, the pensioners, mostly senior citizens in poor health, may please be treated as trustworthy by accepting their signed certificates with CNIC copies and bank pension certificates instead of attested documents and affidavits. If approved, kindly communicate the good news to the pensioners concerned through a press release by April 15, if possible.
M Akram Niazi
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2017.