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Letters To The Editor

Your efforts to highlight the mining sector are indeed worth appreciating.  It would be great, if you would also cover the Kalabagh iron refinery project. A steel mill was to be set up at Kalabagh.  Kalabagh has the largest reserves of iron ore in Pakistan. This proposed Steel Mill at Kalabagh should be given priority because it will not only provide job opportunities, but steel production within the country will also increase. The best thing about this project is its reliance on the local iron ore deposits. It allows this proposed Steel Mill to produce steel at cheaper rate than presently being produced by PSM due to its imported and expensive iron ore.

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Editorial

Dear Readers,
The Evaluation of goods has always been a thorn in the neck of importers. The process has been a cause of much debate and there have been various rules defined to streamline the procedure. An impartial and fair valuation system is necessary for smooth flow of goods. Considering Pakistan is a signatory to the WTO agreement on valuation of goods based on transactional value, but somehow the agreement has not been enforced in letter and spirit.
As the transaction value system promotes impartiality, it has always been highly recommended that it is implemented, simply because a transparent mechanism is a hindrance in the flow of kickbacks and commissions. To understand the riddle, we have covered the customs valuation process in detail.

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Steak, Meecedes Microwave

Adnan Asif

So you feel like a hamster spinning your wheel? The faster you run, the faster the wheel spins. Just when you get a raise, you notice the price of hamster wheels jumps! Of course that is provided you get a raise. With the way things are going on in the present circumstances, it wont be long before we'll be out in the streets like Egypt or Libya.
Meanwhile, on the lighter side of things (although as times are progressing, I'm finding it more and more difficult to get in touch with the lighter side of things) here are some super-charged budget-cutting frugal living tips.
One of the biggest wastes of money is restaurant meals. You can cook a meal at home for about 50 Rs a plate. Just put leftovers in the microwave, and Presto!
Those same leftovers cost a lot more at a restaurant. They call it "the buffet", and they sell it to you for 1000 Rs/head.
Consider also the steak dinner that costs, say, 200 Rs at home. At the restaurant, you pay 800 Rs for the same meal. Or, if you want fancy napkins, 3000 Rs. Plus Tax.
night. Would you like to start with something to drink? Perhaps a very nice glass of iced water? That will be 50 Rs, plus the price of the water, of course."
"Why would you tax my water?" I wonder. "It's not like the government made it."
“Who do you think keeps this country free and safe so that you can enjoy your water?" Taxman demands. "Do you think General Musharaf would let you drink water if he was still in power?"
"I don't see how he could stop me."
"Hah!" Taxman replies. "He would have spies everywhere. He knows you drink water and he has targeted this very bottle to self destruct."
"Actually, I don't drink that much water, so I'll pass. His spies must run on the same technology as his scud missiles," I thought to myself. "How about a steak dinner?"
"An excellent choice," Taxman beams. "That will be 500Rs, plus the price of the meal."
"Now what?" I demand. "Are you saying that Musharaf is targeting my steak.”
"Of course not," Taxman giggles. "We will have him locked away soon. But watch out for the taliban."
"Why?"
"The taliban are starving," Taxman explains. "They don't have steaks."
"Ah, so the Taliban government wants to take my steak and give it to their citizens."
"Not a chance. That would violate the official Taliban policy of starvation for all. They would never feed your steak to the people. But they would hold it up to taunt them," Taxman grins. "Then they would throw it into the fire to fuel a nuclear missile trained on this very table you are sitting at."
"Which is why you need to tax my steak."
"Exactly," Taxman nods.
"It's like a security deposit."
"That's right," Taxman smiles.
"It's protection money."
"You understand," Taxman winks.
"It's your tip."
"That's what I sa ... no it's not! It's national defense," Taxman insists.
"so how come I don't see it being implemented anywhere? How come I don't see clean water? How come I don't see good roads, how come I don't see more schools or playgrounds? All I see is more and more weapons to the successors of armed forces..more blasts.. more poverty.. more oppression.. more frustration.. more helplessness.. more crime.. so tell me Mr Taxman, where is my tax money really going?”
"National defence, don't you know? All our politicians and bureaucrats and wives of politicians and bureaucrats and girlfriends of politicians and bureaucrats and children, all legitimate and illegitimate of politicians and bureaucrats need bullet proof top of the line Mercedes benz"?
I've discovered a legal loophole to save 15% on your restaurant bill. According to a national food survey, your plate usually has 15% too much food on it. Set aside 15% of your meal. When your waiter comes to collect his tip, pay him in food. Your waiter raved about today's special, so I'm sure he will appreciate having some for himself.
If Taxman is your waiter, don't actually give him the food. Just taunt him with it -- then mail it to the Taliban. Then they won't have to blow up your table to get it themselves. Why pay for national defense when the postal service can protect your freedom to eat for just the cost of a stamp?
And now, much as I am starved for a good meal, nothing would go down my throat. On my way back, my car was stopped at an intersection for a good 30 minutes, they call it the "route" and I waited, with a hungry stomach, and watched 5 top of the line bullet proof Mercedes benz driving past with armed cars in tow, an ambulance and a firefighting unit (never there where the actual fire is) and think, that's where my tax money goes… and I feel like retching… only, I don't have anything in my stomach to retch.
I go home and I put my leftovers in my microwave and nuke them. At least I don't have to tip the microwave.

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