FBR top brass at loggerheads for power, authority

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) top brass are at loggerheads with each other for power and authority in the top revenue collection body.

Sources privy to this scribe reported that two groups within the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) have emerged at the board level, both of whom are in a tiff with each other.

One is the “Lahori Group”, which weighs with the high ups of incumbent FBR chairman, member FATE Nadeem Rizvi whereas one special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) is supporting them. 

The other is led by Member IR Operations Dr Ashfaq Ahmed, who is being supported by close aides in the Prime Minister’s (PM) Office.    

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In an apparent show of power and trespassing his authority, Dr Ashfaq recently issued a show cause notice to two chief commissioners (IR) who were charged with the allegation of meeting the FBR chairman without seeking consent of member IR Operations.

Similarly, in another event, member IR Ops reportedly issued directions to the Intelligence and Investigation (IR) DG to restrain from proceeding in any tax investigation without prior approval of the Operations Wing. 

It is pertinent to mention that as in any other intelligence-based organisation around the globe, the Intelligence Wing always operates independently under direct supervision of the top hierarchy which, in case of FBR, would be the chairman. In addition, the current DG Intelligence and Investigation is also considered close to the incumbent chairman.

Meanwhile, the fate of Anti Benami Directorate also hangs in the balance as the current boss is Syed Nadeem Hussain Rizvi while the zonal commissioners, the real men behind the gun, are close to member IR Operations. 

This has resulted in a massive national loss as it is no secret that the report on the Ring Road scandal clearly mentioned how thousands of kanals of benami land held by PMLNs Chaudhry Tanveer was let go and de-attached by the Appellate Tribunal (IR), where the concerned xommissioner of the Benami Zone did not put up a legal fight and kept himself inert to the whole proceedings.

Officials, who have worked with the incumbent FBR chairman, told this scribe that he has an excellent grip on tax laws and his IT skills well surpass any other officer of his batch in FBR.

On the other hand, the IR operation team under the supervision of Dr Ashfaq performed really well in terms of revenue collection.

 

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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