Finance Minister shuffles heads of three divisions yet again

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has reshuffled operational heads of his three important divisions leaving the post of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman vacant yet again, reported a national daily.

It was the second reshuffle in the divisions that come under the direct control of Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Privatisation and Statistics Ishaq Dar in the last one week. Except for Privatisation, Dar has replaced the federal secretaries of all other four divisions under his direct control.

The announcement came just hours before the scheduled meeting of a High Powered Board on Thursday. Tariq  Bajwa has been assigned Secretary Revenue Division in addition to his existing responsibilities of Secretary Finance Division. Bajwa had been appointed Secretary Finance Division last week.

It is rare that Secretary Revenue Division and FBR chairman portfolios are designated to two different persons. Usually, the FBR chairman is the Secretary Revenue Division. Dr Mohammad Irshad – a grade 22 officer – was assigned the “look after” charge of chairman of the FBR, which is without any power

The permanent FBR chairman position still remains vacant after the retirement of Nisar Mohammad Khan.

The High Powered Board is headed by prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the meeting had been called to promote officers from Grade-21 to the highest rank of grade 22. The High Powered Board promoted Tariq Pasha, the Special Assistant to Finance Minister, to the highest grade 22 along with one and a few other officers from various service groups, sources revealed.

After his elevation to the top, the government on Friday appointed Tariq Pasha as Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD). The EAD is responsible for dealing with external lenders and donors. Dar has appointed his right hand to head this important division.

Before his appointment as EAD Secretary, Dar had given the additional charge of Secretary Statistics Division to Tariq Pasha. The post of Secretary Economic Affairs Division was vacant after the appointment of Tariq Bajwa as Secretary Finance. Pasha originally belongs to the Inland Revenue Service but he had been merged into Secretariat Group.


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