THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Suggested Approach to Agricultural Taxation Policy in West Pakistan
The general tendency in most developing countries is to throw a disproportionate share of the burden of taxation on the ‘monetised’ or market sector and an insufficient amount on agriculture. The reasons for this are partly administrative and partly political. Taxes levied on the agricultural community are far more difficult to assess and collect and are socially and politically unpopular because they appear unjust — the people in the agriculture sector are, individually, always so much poorer than the people in the market sector. In Pakistan, from time to time, expert committees have been set up by the government to consider the question of raising more resources from the agriculture sector through additional taxation. However, most recommendations of these committees have not been implemented. The system of taxation has remained essentially the same as it was in the nineteenth century and the rates, in real terms, have, if anything, gone down.