ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi will go on an indefinite leave on health grounds, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to sources, the FBR chief has informed Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh and other high-ups of the government that he is going on leave from Monday due to health issues.
This is the second time in a month that Zaidi is going on leave. Earlier, he went on leave in the first week of January for 15 days. In his absence, member administration and senior income tax officer Nousheen Amjad assumed his duties. Source further said that this time around, the time-frame of his leave would be based on the doctor’s recommendations.
On the other hand, official sources claimed that the FBR chief cannot come to the office due to a fake sales tax refund case which is pending before the Supreme Court (SC). On Wednesday, the apex court had criticised FBR officials, including the chairman, for not taking action against officials involved in the case.
Sources claimed that this case has become a nightmare for the FBR chief as well as some other people who made billions of rupees in fake sales tax refunds during the tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Meanwhile, senior officials have also been busy lobbying against the chairman for the past few months. They have also enhanced communication with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had asked them for suggestions to reform the department. Nousheen Amjad is the senior officer of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) whereas Muhammad Javed Ghani is the senior officer of Pakistan Customs.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, the FBR chief confirmed that he is going on leave from Monday as he is not well. When asked about the duration of his leave, he said that it is dependent on the doctor’s advice.