In Pakistan, RuPaul Collects The Rupees

April 16th, 2011 by alyx · 3 Comments · breaking news, win

You better work!

And you better pay your taxes too, or else, a tranny is gonna show up on your doorstep to collect the funds. At least that’s the reality in Pakistan:

Riffee — like her tax-collector friends Sana and Kohan — is physically a man, but prefers to be called and dress as a woman. Their job is quite simple: each morning they turn up to work and get a list of missed payments. One by one, they make house-calls, causing trouble at each debtor’s home or office, trying to get them to pay up. It’s not clear how effective this tactic is, but officials insist they would not do it if it did not work.

“Their appearance causes great embarrassment amongst the people,” said Sajid Hussein Bhatti, the tax superintendent who gives Riffee her orders every morning.

Now having a tranny show up on my doorstep to demand cash wouldn’t make most of my neighbors bat an eye. In fact, I would be disappointed to learn it hadn’t happened on my block before. And if a pack of trannies wandered into your average business, most people in the States would probably think it was a flash mob of some sort and start filming it for Youtube.

But in Pakistan, this sort of thing is less than divine (pun intended). They’re also a bit strapped (no pun intended) for cash:

There is a serious side though to this theatrical tactic. Pakistan’s tax take is dire: barely 1 per cent of Pakistanis pay any income tax, and the government is frantically trying to increase its income — partially to placate the International Monetary Fund. Pakistan wants to borrow up to another $5 billion from the IMF, which insists the state improves its tax collection.

Okay, so this is all the IMF’s doing. I’d like to thank them for yet again bringing the lulz. I can only hope that this tactic becomes a universal best practice for countries with poor internal controls and corrupt legal systems.

(h/t to May for the link to this one :))

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