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Business

July 18, 2017

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FBR forays new team to meet mammoth tax target for 2017/18

FBR forays new team to meet mammoth tax target for 2017/18

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) top management brought in a major team reshuffling at its key Inland Revenue Service (IRS) arm with the revenue body facing an arduous task of meeting the ambitious tax collection target of Rs4.013 trillion during the current fiscal year. 

In a first but major jolt after the newly-appointed Chairman FBR Tariq Pasha assumed the charge, tax machinery made transfer and postings of 18 officers of IRS in BS 20 to 22. Pasha appointed Khawaja Tanveer Ahmed as Member IR (grade 21 officer) after replacing Rehmatullah Wazir from the position. Wazir, who has been posted as Member Taxpayer Audit, is retiring in March 2018.

Ahmed and Wazir were considered as potential candidates for the slot of Chairman FBR before the appointment of Tariq Pasha.  Pasha, after analysing situation on ground, made his first move and appointed Ahmed who, for all practical purposes, will be responsible to look after the field formations across the country for revenue collection on daily basis on account of three major heads, including income, withholding and sales taxes and federal excise duty. Only customs duty does not fall under his domain.  Member IR operation is considered as the most influential and powerful position after the Chairman FBR.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan has already played a major role in establishing new team in the FBR as the top guns in the government know a fact that it would be quite hard for them to achieve the highly challenging target during the current fiscal year amid an intensely-charged political environment in the country.

The challenges are so acute that the FBR’s newly placed management will have to fill in posts in Lahore, Gujranawala and many other places as well as make permanent appointment for Peshawar and Multan where chief commissioners will soon be retiring.

Senior FBR officials, talking with The News, argued that they transferred top 18 chief commissioners who failed to achieve the tax collection target for the fiscal year, ended June 30, 2017.

Many insiders did not buy this argument, saying Large Taxpayer Unit Islamabad had witnessed a major revenue shortfall but its chief commissioner was not transferred in this latest wave of transfer and postings.

“In reality, the FBR had miserably failed in achieving its downward revised target of Rs3,521 billion for FY17 as so far its collection stood at Rs3,372 billion despite getting advances in the last quarter of the previous fiscal year,” a source said. “So, all should be punished for this revenue shortfall, including those who are at the helm of affairs.” 

Sources said the new team placed in men of their choices at different places and it is their discretion to build their own team keeping in view the ‘comfort zone’.  “But FBR would have to gather all its strength to achieve the new target by wringing fresh Rs700 to 750 billion in a year when political upheaval is expected to remain high in all the coming weeks and months ahead,” said a well-placed source.

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