Monday October 18, 2021

Key post in Sindh: Tailor-made criteria advertised to appoint favourite

September 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has now approached the Sindh chief secretary for having advertised what it called a “tailor-made criteria” for the high profile post of chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) to appoint a retired customs officer, who is said to be the first cousin of a top PPP leader.

The advertisement, which appeared on 10th September, 2021, is allegedly matching the experience and qualification of Wasif Ali Memon. It is said that the criteria announced for the post is altogether different from what it used to be advertised in the previous years. When approached Saeed Ghani, Sindh Information Minister, denied that the advertisement for the post of chairman SRB is tailor-made and meant to appoint a favourite. He assured that the appointment will be made on merit as has happened in the past. “The best available candidate will be appointed,” he said, adding that even in the past the appointments were made against the post purely on merit and those who were appointed had performed very well.

According to the TIP, Wasif is a retired Customs group officer and the criteria advertised now for the post of chairman looks for a chartered accountant, Master in Taxation or have Postgraduate Degree/Diploma in Finance/Accounting/Law or should be a BPS-20/21 officer, serving or retried, having not less than 20 years of service in any of the tax department of the federal or provincial government. The applicant should have at least 25 years of experience in tax administration and collection.

The TIP has conveyed to the chief secretary that Wasif Ali Memon was inducted as Senior Member in Sindh Revenue Board from Pakistan Customs, from where he retired in January 2021 in BSP-21 and has 25 years of tax collection experience, which is made mandatory for all candidates. “How can the policy of required qualification and experience for a government post of chairman SRB be changed, every time when a new chairman is appointed. This is a murder of merit, and highest level of nepotism,” said the TIP.

It said that the government of Sindh is making all out efforts to appoint Mr. Wasif Ali Memon as the chairman SRB by so-called open selection process, as prescribed for appointments on contract in MP-1 scale.

The TIP reminded the Sindh chief secretary that in 2012, the qualification and experience required for the post were post graduate diploma or degree in Finance of Law preferable with courses or modules including corporate finance, acquisition and mergers and/or banking and finance; international experience of working for five years in one of the top tier accounting or law firm with transactions experiences, relevant to restructuring acquisition or merger, preferably some tax driven restructuring experience; management experience of working for five years in one of the top tier accounting or law firm with transactional experience relevant to restructuring, acquisitions or mergers with preferably some tax-driven restructuring experience; management experience of working on the management board of a top national or multinational business with a turnover of at least 100 million dollars for at least two years either as a government representative or on a standalone basis in the private sectors; familiar with legal structures underlying outsourcing, externalization arrangements and partnership structures and government or semi-government experience in Pakistan is preferable but not mandatory. Experience of national and comparative cross border environments and ability to structure and enforce good compliance practices was also sought. The age required was 45 and above.

In 2014, the criteria for the same post was different and sought that the applicant must be a chartered accountant, MBA Finance or have post graduate degree/diploma in Finance/Accounting Law. The applicant must have at least 25 years’ experience of which at least 10 years should be in a Senior Management Position in a public sector (BS-20 or above in government or multinational corporate organisation or a bank).