Islamabad : For decades Pakistan has "flirted with the idea of imposing taxes on the agricultural sector", but the effort has met with little success, rued a leading daily.
An editorial in the Dawn Thursday said the latest but as yet unpublished agriculture census finds that up to 80 percent of the people in the country s farming sector own just 28 percent of all privately-owned agricultural land.
"The bland statistics obfuscate one of the most serious disconnects in the country," it said. "Whichever sector is examined, be it agriculture, healthcare, education or practically any other, the elite - who constitute a fraction of the overall population - are using up the overwhelming bulk of the available resources.
In plain terms, the minority appropriates what the majority needs to pull itself out of its misery," the daily added. The editorial said that "for decades the country has flirted with the idea of imposing taxes on the agricultural sector so that the economy as a whole can benefit.
The effort has met with little success, given that in many cases the elements that have the power to bring about a veto are the very ones that have large and lucrative stakes in agricultural land and the related economy". "Will a government ever have the will to bring agriculture into the tax net?" it asked and added: "That remains a moot point."