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ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Asif Mahmood Jah has issued instructions to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to proceed against the officers/ officials who are found involved in providing consultancies to the taxpayers.

The FTO in pursuance of an own motion investigation regarding private practice by the employees of the FBR who joined local chambers or even opened their own law offices and render legal assistance to taxpayers in the evening or even during office working hours, has issued these directions.

The FTO, while finalising the proceedings has observed that it is a well-known fact that many of the officials/ officers of the FBR remain associated with various taxpayers and provide legal assistance to them in various taxation maters.

The same is in total disregard of instructions under the Government Servant (Conduct) Rules, 1964 where under no government servant is allowed to engage in any trade or undertake any employment or work, other than his official duties, except with the previous sanction of the government. Furthermore, Sr No 26 of Esta Code contains clear prohibition regarding undertaking of private work by the government servants.

In view of the above, the FTO has ordered the FBR to immediately issue clear instructions to all field formations banning private consultancy by the FBR employees and also put in place a strong monitoring mechanism to ensure the compliance of these instructions.

The FTO further ordained the FBR to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the relevant laws against officials/ officers who are reported to be indulged in private consultancy, with tangible evidence.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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