ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) field formations including the Large Tax Office (LTO), Islamabad continued their strike in favour of de-freezing their allowance on Wednesday, halting recovery proceedings and refund processing during June 2022.

Tax employees of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad including the LTO Islamabad, Regional Tax Office, Islamabad, RTO Rawalpindi and the Corporate Regional Tax Office (CRTO) Islamabad are participating in the strike.

The strike was against the freezing of the performance allowance of the FBR employees since 2015 and the delay in the increase in the salary of the FBR employees in the federal budget 2022-23.

As a result of the strike, the processing and issuance of the exemption certificates have been stopped in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Moreover, the recovery proceedings and processing of all kinds of refunds have also been stopped.

Presently, there is no strike at the FBR Headquarters, but the strike continued in the field formations against the freezing of the Executive Allowance equal to 150 per cent of the basic salary given to the government officials of Grade-17 to Grade-22 working in the Federal Secretariat on the pattern of the provinces. On the other hand, officers of the FBR have been excluded on the ground that they were already receiving a special allowance.

The FBR’s performance allowance has been frozen since 2015 to a level which has now become 20 per cent of the basic pay. In comparison, employees of many other organizations are receiving special allowance/incentives which amount to 100 to 150 per cent of their basic pay. This disparity is resulting in the demoralization of the FBR employees which may negatively affect their vital revenue collection efforts.

In order to remove this disparity in the salary structure, the FBR has proposed to the prime minister enhancement of the existing “Fixed FBR incentive” of the FBR employees to 150 per cent of their running basic pay in lieu of the FBR’s performance allowance to bring their compassion package at par with the organizations such as the NAB and the FIA.

The FBR employees through their representatives had submitted their demands regarding the de-freezing of performance allowance and demanded an executive allowance on the pattern of the provincial government and several other federal government departments and threatened to observe pen-down strikes. In continuation of their announcement, a strike was observed on Friday which was followed by a more aggressive show of strength on Saturday. It continued even on Monday after the weekly day-off.

The FBR employees have started their strike in the crucial month of June, as any functional logjam at this moment may compromise the government’s revenue targets for the ongoing year and beyond.

Few days back, all major formations observed the strike by locking up their offices and taking out rallies in major cities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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