ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has directed Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Pasha to submit a detailed report on the ‘integrity’ of FBR members, officers heading strategic units of the FBR.
He said this in a ‘strong worded letter’ addressed to the FBR chairman. The prime minister has also directed the FBR chairman to submit the required report latest by November 28.
The letter further stated that it was brought to the knowledge of the prime minister that no action was taken against FBR officials whose involvement in corruption was already established by the FBR; and that most of the officers with highly compromised reputations are heading the most crucial establishments of the FBR.
The letter directed FBR to provide ‘integrity’ details of grade-20 officers; in particular Basharat Ahmad Qureshi, Sharif Ahmad Awan and Shahar Bano Walajahi, according to the official letter.
An FBR inquiry had earlier established that Ahmed Qureshi gave illegal tax benefits to two companies but was posted as Commissioner RTO-III Karachi in 2015 regardless.
Similarly, the FBR had established that Sharif Awan ‘held assets beyond means’ but in February he was posted as Commissioner Appeals in RTO Karachi, regardless of the matter. It was also proven by the FBR that Shahar Bano Walajahi gave undue favour of Rs429.8 million to a taxpayer.
The prime minister has directed the FBR chairman to submit details of cases of all officials, officers of BPS-16 and above belonging to the Pakistan Customs Services, Inland Revenue Services and other cadres of the FBR, who’re holding offices regardless of the fact that formal proceedings have been initiated against them by FBR, from June 2013 onwards.
After assuming his role as the premiere of the country, PM Abbasi had announced that broadening the tax base was one of his first priorities. According to a recent World Bank report, Pakistan suffers a loss of Rs3.2 trillion annually due to weak administration and non-compliant taxpayers.