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July 2, 2018

Differences among FBR bureaucracy cost exchequer


July 2, 2018

ISLAMABAD: As a result of differences among senior bureaucracy in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the national exchequer faced a serious setback as only Rs7 billion were deposited on June 30, whereas Rs22 billion were collected on June 29.

A senior official involved in the tax collection exercise said it means at least Rs100 billion less tax was collected by the FBR. The senior official said that two positions -- member policy and member operations -- are very important in function of the FBR.

Initially, former chairman Tariq Pasha had given charge of these two seats to Dr Iqbal who is also spokesperson of the FBR. Pasha wanted Dr Iqbal to continue on both positions. Later on, Habibullah Khan was appointed as member policy. His posting was never welcomed in the FBR and resultantly two members (policy and operation) never came on same page. Habibullah Khan couldn’t be part of core team of the chairman.

He was never invited to important decision-making meetings, nor he was taken into confidence on important issues, The News has learnt. Major decisions were taken by Tariq Pasha, Member Policy Dr Iqbal and SA to Chairman Amjad Tiwana, a Grade-20 officer, a sources in the FBR confided.

According to sources, the FBR fetched Rs70 billion from the tax amnesty scheme. The Customs, as per past practice, performed well and GST and Income Tax remained problem areas, the sources said.

When The News contacted Dr Iqbal, spokesperson and Member Policy FBR, he said there were no differences among senior members of the FBR and all were working as a team. There is impression that the ordinance to extend amnesty scheme was drafted in office and it was leaked to some big business houses by some official. However, the spokesperson denied any such thing.

He further stated that amnesty schemes performed well and still tax collection was coming from abroad through the State Bank and final figures will be announced when the SBP will provide final collection of tax. Dr Iqbal said due to holidays money from abroad could not be transferred to Pakistan and in coming days figures of tax collection will also improve.

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