Federal Government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has once again reverted policy for purchasing vehicles in the country. The government has lifted the ban on the purchase of automobiles for non-filers up to 1300CC engine capacity.

Finance minister, Asad Umar presented Economic Reforms Package in the national assembly yesterday and allowed non-filers to purchase vehicles in the country. However, the tax on a purchase made by non-filers would be increased to 50% now. Moreover, the government has also permitted non-filers to purchase houses worth Rs. 5 million.

The previous government of PMLN imposed the ban on non-filers to purchase vehicles or property in their last budget 2018-2010. After coming into power, PTI lifted the ban as the government was losing revenue due to a limited number of registrations which was reported by excise department.

Soon after the government lifted the ban, they faced huge critique from civil society. Experts were of the view that government should devise policies to include citizens in the tax net not to facilitate them to be out of FBR radar. Ironically, PTI imposed the ban once again while just allowing overseas Pakistanis as non-filers to buy cars and property in Pakistan.

The local auto industry and dealers started putting pressure on the government while presenting drastic sales figures. They were of the view that this ban should be lifted as it’s not in the interest of auto industry business.

Now the government has once again submitted to the popular demand and lifted the ban on non-filers. However, it has created a mockery of the PTI government. It seems like PTI is on-the-job training and playing with the policies absurdly. Although government can experiment and take U-turns, the recent case of non-filers has shown that government is not apprehending the situation and not prepared at all.

PM Imran Khan and his ministers should understand that policies are issues after proper evaluations. There is no fruit in announcing a strategy and then reverting it after realizing the ground realities.