ISLAMABAD: The issue of good governance is again surfacing in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as the high ups are protecting the ‘corrupt’ officials from customs intelligence, it has been learnt.
Recently, the tax department transferred a grade 20 officer of Pakistan Customs Muhammad Adnan Akram from the post of Director, Directorate of intelligence and Investigation Multan to Director, Directorate of Training and Research (Customs) Lahore.
Sources close to this development said that Muhammad Adnan Akram had transferred some fifteen corrupt executive staff and sepoys to Faisalabad, DG Khan, Sargodha, Multan, and Saria Muhajir, who are considered to be very close to the Director General (DG) Customs intelligence. Sources told that these sepoys and other staff have failed to curb smuggling.
The director had initially directed Superintendent, Range office Faisalabad, Muhammahad Tahir Iqbal to give a performance report on anti-smuggling units.
“Performance figures for the last nine months of the current financial year 2017-18 vis-a vis figures for the year 2016-17 with regard to seizures made reveals a meagre growth whereas reportedly, the quantum of smuggled goods and vehicles, passing through the areas of the directorate, almost doubled. You are, hereby, required to explain your position in writing with justifiable reasons on your performance of anti-smuggling operations, seizures made, within three days positively, failing which it shall be presumed that you have failed to perform your duty and responsibilities satisfactorily”, the letter indicates.
In another letter to the Senior Intelligence officer Multan, Nasir Saeed Malik, the director had sought the performance of the anti-smuggling units and the state warehouse.
The letter stated that you are, hereby, required to explain your position in writing with justifiable reasons on your performance of anti-smuggling operations, seizures made goods disposed and internal audit, stock taking conducted with regard to the state warehouse, within seven days positively, failing which it shall be presumed that you have failed to perform your duty and responsibilities satisfactorily.
Sources told that instead of replying to the director, the above mentioned officers approached the Customs intelligence high ups through a retired employee. Afterwards, Muhammad Adnan Akram issued the transfer posting orders of these officials which were canceled by the Director General (DG) Customs intelligence and investigation on that day.
On the other hand, a senior official of the Customs department told that the above mentioned officials were protecting their interests in their department and the officer claimed that the reputation of both these officials is not right. We heard that one official of customs had filed a complaint against the DG in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as well.
It is pertinent to mention here that one sepoy, Aamir Shabbir has filed complaints with NAB pertaining to the rising smuggling and involvement of officers/officials in this regard.
Aamir Shabbir mentioned all these officials in his complaint to the NAB. He claimed that Director General I&I Shaukat Ali was patronising smuggling and a retired official Mushtaq Sarghana was his front man calling shots in the Directorate General. He claimed that Shaukat Ali was also involved in liquor smuggling through M/s Al Hamd Container Terminal.
The matter of good governance in the tax department had earlier been highlighted last year when the Prime Minster’s office directed the chairman FBR to provide the details of corrupt officials in the department. Reportedly, the chairman FBR had provided 300 official’s details to the PM office and it was told that inquiries are underway against them, but the PM did not take any action.
The Senate Standing Committee on Finance had established one sub-committee under the supervision of Senator Mohsin Aziz who recommended completing inquires against the corrupt officials within 3 months.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, Senator Haroon Akhtar, while talking to Pakistan Today said that the Customs Intelligence has done a splendid job in the last one and half year. They confiscated the million rupees from imported Indian cloths as well as the phones in Karachi.
The senator further commented that he could not interfere in transfers and postings, since that was the FBR’s domain.