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February 23, 2021

FBR, PPO still to get autonomous body categorisation

National

February 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government has accomplished categorisation of all public sector departments, giving them the status of “autonomous body” except two departments i.e. the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Post Office.

After stiff resistance from the FBR officers and other staff, the federal government has so far deferred its decision to declare the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as an autonomous body (AB) because majority of the staff preferred to remain within the fold of public sector employees. So they opposed any move for classifying it as an autonomous body.

Now the Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms has sought the viewpoint of the Revenue Division to revaluate the status of FBR and present the case before the cabinet for determination of its status.

When contacted, Minister of State for Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain on Monday told this scribe that only two departments were left without having classification i.e. the FBR and Post Office. He said he had explained to the FBR’s cadre officers belonging to the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) and Customs Group that he had supported them for declaring FBR as an the autonomous body.

He said that there was confusion among the FBR cadre officers as they wanted to remain within the fold of the government machinery. He had told them that being an autonomous body, their promotion and career path would not be affected negatively. By giving FBR the autonomous status, it was meant to grant administrative and financial autonomy to bureau without negatively affecting careers and promotion of cadre officers.

The FBR will be given one-line budget and there will be no need to seek permission of each and everything from its parent ministry. He said that he had explained everything to them that for hiring of non-cadre officers, the FBR would be allowed to hire contractual employees.

For giving the autonomous body status, he had assured the FBR officers that it would not affect their promotion and career path as the cadre officers would remain within the fold of bureaucracy. After sharing a detailed explanation, he said that the government sought input of the Revenue Division for determination of the status of FBR.

According to official communication sent to Chairman FBR Muhammad Javed Ghani from the Prime Minister's Office, the federal government had approved a report of the Task Force on Austerity and Restructuring in its meeting held on July 9, 2019 and constituted a committee for the implementation of recommendations of the Task Force.