Sunday, July 27, 2014

Post Pay and Tax Revision Thoughts





Yesterday, I received my new pay slip and finally I did my own math. Yes, the raise was minimal. I am sure it’s not even going to cover up the inflationary gap. But all thank goes to my house owner. At the moment, there is no sign of rent revision from his side. Elsewhere, some of my friends have already received a rent revision notice.

In places like Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Paro, the generous house rent allowance accorded by our government will surely not guarantee a decent apartment. Contrary to the findings of Economic affairs Minister, the prices of commodities, both local and imported have REALLY gone up. 

Disappointingly, the very politicians who came to power on populist agenda are turning out to be nothing but biggest cheats (or we failing to understand their broader concern) Their skewed pay revision candy just took one year to create a painful cavity in molars of public servants. Their confused electric car vision, their un-promised self serving pay package and their wanton allowance system did best to disclose the real devil in them. 

Now in the middle of pay revision math,  people are made to go busy doing the taxation math. Green Tax, Car Tax and mobile voucher taxes are surely going to make the voters angry. In brief, these are unwarranted tax on communication. As understood by everyone, we can call it a proletariat tax

The Government’s initiative to inculcate tax-paying culture is highly appreciated. It will instill sense of ownership among the general public over public goods. Through it, people will get to know the real meaning and value of free services. However taxing on communication sector is a serious business. It may require a lot of rethinking. 

Especially in business world, communication has become the single most important tool for the survival. With recent proliferation of mobile telecommunication systems, it has brought in immense benefits for farmers of rural Bhutan too. Similarly, most of the Government offices today use no less communication for public service delivery. Therefore, taxing on it is simply unthinkable. 

Taxation is a very sensitive issue. Unless politicians see a clear cut political gain, many wouldn’t even talk about it. This is according to worldwide phenomenon. Ironically, here our politicians took just one sitting to introduce a range of tax bills. As politicians, they seem to have taken the biggest risk of their life. With the kind public outrage, many may perish with just one term. 

To conclude this post, let us look at the main points once again. 
1. Pay revision was not up to the expectations.
2. Pay revision was discriminatory. 
3. MPs had their self serving pay packages. 
4. Politicians have introduced peasant taxes. 
5. Prices have really gone up. 

But here are the silver linings. 

1. Import duty for most of the medical, surgical and dental equipments are made zero.
2. Import duty for most of the pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines and other drugs are made zero too. Hence we can expect cheaper medical treatment. 
3. Import duty for Spare parts for aircraft is made zero. Hence Travelling by air will be cheaper. So travel by air and not by car. 
4. Did I miss something?
5. Let me Know.

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