ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chief has finally shaken up the tax department at the level of field formations, posting officers of known integrity and competence at key positions except for two stations in Punjab and one in Balochistan.
The FBR notified the transfers and postings of over two-dozen officers serving in grade 21 and 22 on Friday. FBR Chairman Jehanzeb Khan has tried to pick competent officers to head field formations in the given circumstances.
Like other civil service groups, working ethics and standards have also gone down in the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) of the FBR.
The reshuffle took place after the FBR sustained a huge shortfall in tax collection in the July-October period of the current fiscal year.
The IRS cadre is responsible for collecting 85% of the country’s total taxes, although due to the nature of taxes nearly 45% of the total is collected at the import stage.
IRS field formations comprise four Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs) and 18 Regional Tax Offices. The FBR chairman has placed capable people at, at least, three LTUs and 10 RTOs out of the postings for chief commissioners.
It was the first major reshuffle by Khan after becoming chairman over two months ago. The FBR’s notification showed that some people with questionable integrity have been sidelined. But at the same time, people who have faced inquiries, under efficiency and disciplinary rules in the past, have been posted. Faiz Illahi Memon, a man of known integrity, has been appointed chief commissioner of LTU Karachi, which is the largest revenue spinner for the FBR.
The FBR transferred Seema Shakil, who was serving as chief commissioner of LTU Karachi, after she could not meet revenue collection targets.
However, the FBR chairman has posted Asim Majid Khan as chief commissioner of LTU Lahore – the third largest revenue spinner. Majid, in the past, has remained controversial, said officials in the FBR. Earlier, Majid was serving as chief commissioner of RTO-II Lahore. Hamid Ateeq Sarwar has been posted as member facilitation and taxpayer education at the FBR headquarters. The FBR has transferred Nazir Ahmad Shoro, who was serving as chief commissioner of RTO-III Karachi. He has not been given a new posting.
In his place, Amir Ali Khan Talpur has been appointed chief commissioner of RTO-III Karachi. Talpur is considered a clean officer and was earlier serving as chief commissioner of Abbottabad.
In the place of Talpur, Abdul Rashid has been appointed new chief commissioner of Abbottabad. Rashid was serving as the chief taxpayers’ audit at the FBR headquarters.
The FBR chairman has removed Ashfaq Ahmad Tunio from the position of chief commissioner of RTO Quetta and appointed him chief commissioner of RTO Bahawalpur. Tunio has faced inquiries in the past and was among half a dozen officers who were promoted to grade-21 despite pending inquiries against them, said officials in the FBR.
The officials insisted that competent and honest commissioners would be posted at RTO Bahawalpur to assist Tunio. In the place of Tunio, the FBR chairman has appointed Sahibzada Abdul Mateen as chief commissioner of RTO Quetta. The officials said Mateen too had questionable credentials.
The FBR’s defence was that it had faced problems in convincing people to work in Quetta due to the law and order situation.
The FBR has sidelined Mustafa Sajjad Hasan, who was serving as chief commissioner of LTU Islamabad, which is the second largest revenue spinner. Hasan was not meeting his monthly revenue collection targets.
Shamsul Hadi, another man of credible credentials, has been given the key post of chief commissioner of RTO Islamabad. He has also been given the additional charge of chief commissioner of LTU Islamabad. Sajidullah Siddiqui, also a competent officer, has been posted as chief commissioner of RTO-II Karachi.
Ghulam Mustafa Rahu, who was serving as chief commissioner of RTO-II Karachi, has been posted at Sukkur RTO. Raza Munawar, chief commissioner of RTO Islamabad, has been transferred and posted as director general of law, Islamabad. But he will be stationed in Lahore. Munawar too was not able to meet tax collection targets. Dr Muhammad Ali Khan, chief commissioner of Sukkur, has been posted as chief commissioner of LTU Karachi-II. Khan is also a man of integrity but is considered a weak administrator.
Qaiser Iqbal has been posted as chief commissioner of RTO Peshawar, which is quite a challenging post due to the influence of the tobacco lobby.
Asim Ahmad, chief commissioner of LTU Lahore, has been posted as director general of internal audit. Bashirullah Khan, who enjoys a good reputation, has been appointed chief commissioner of RTO Rawalpindi. Earlier, he was serving as Sargodha RTO.
Syed Ghulam Abbas Kazmi has been posted as chief commissioner of Sargodha RTO and Shaban Bhatti as RTO Sahiwal. Sadia Sadaf Gilani has been made new chief commissioner of RTO-II.
Badshah Khan Wazir has been posted as chief legal wing of the FBR, Amjad Zubair Tiwana has been posted out of the FBR headquarters and made commissioner at RTO Islamabad. Zubair was serving as Special Assistant to the FBR chairman. In his place, Zubair Bilal has been brought in.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2018.