IHC suspends FBR restructuring notification

Petitioner contends that interim govt does not have mandate to take such decisions

Fiaz Mahmood February 08, 2024
Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: IHC WEBSITE


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended a notification issued by the caretaker government on February 4 regarding an implementation committee to restructure the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

A single-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb issued this order on Wednesday while hearing a petition filed by an FBR officer.

The petitioner contended that the caretaker government does not have the mandate to restructure the tax authority.

He stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had informed the interim government about its limitations, but despite that, the government formed the committee.

With less than a week before the general elections, the interim government notified an implementation committee to execute the restructuring of the FBR and set a tight deadline of 72 hours to finalize a legal package.

The eight-member Implementation and Asset Distribution Committee was to give effect to the FBR’s restructuring. Two sub-committees had also been notified to prepare a slew of legal amendments in laws, finalize new statutes, and distribute the assets between the two new organizations.

On February 1, the federal cabinet approved the FBR’s restructuring. After the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar told The Express Tribune that the restructuring of FBR would be implemented by the next elected government, and the next parliament would make requisite changes.

However, immediately after the approval of this plan, the ECP barred the prime minister from taking any action, terming it beyond his constitutional and legal mandate.

According to the ECP, the caretaker prime minister should avoid major reforms in the FBR and keep them pending for consideration by the new government after the General Elections 2024.

The committee notification indicated that the interim government wanted to prepare plans within four to seven days, but no timeframe for submitting this plan to the federal cabinet had been given.


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