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Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi said on Tuesday that restructuring/transformation of FBR will be undertaken after taking into account feedback of all the stakeholders, including Inland Revenue Service and Pakistan Customs Service.

According to a tweet of Shabbar Zaidi on Tuesday, "I thank all the CCIR [chief commissioners Inland Revenue] of IRS [Inland Revenue Service] for very productive meeting. Restructuring/transformation of FBR will be undertaken after taking into account feedback of all the stakeholders. Whole organization including all levels of staff will be taken into consideration." Earlier, the officers of FBR made a presentation raising their issues regarding proposed restructuring of FBR to their chairman on Tuesday.

This approved plan of FBR reforms resulted into unrest among the officers of Inland Revenue Service (IRS) who had collectively made presentation before the chairman and supported the government's moves on documentation and revenue maximization but showed their reservation over proposed changes into structure of FBR which were offered them to become part of Pakistan Revenue Authority. Instead of providing jobs to 10 million, the government is on the path of dismantling the FBR that would cause 10,000 people lose jobs, they feared.

The FBR, according to IRS officer, came into being with an act of Parliament almost 100 years back in 1922 under British rule and now the incumbent regime was going to dismantle the FBR with stroke of one pen. "If this government does not mend its way, they will definitely approach the courts to stop this unjustified move," they added. In their presentation made before the chairman, the FBR officers said that IRS fully backs the government's initiative to consolidate all taxes under the ambit of Pakistan Revenue Authority. "We support documentation drive and are part of this drive and would remain so, and we fully support General Sales Tax (GST) and assure the political government that we extend all support in implementation of these reforms," they added.

They further stated that IRS's only point of disagreement is the vague, half-cooked and misleading administrative structure proposed for Pakistan Revenue Authority and secondly the timelines where implementation of proposed structure is being done before the inception of Pakistan Revenue Authority.

The implementation of proposed structure should be stopped forthwith and all stakeholders should be taken on board for effective implementation of the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, they further said. They said that the government did not take into account its revenue impact but it should keep in mind that it opted for creating panic within the ranks of FBR when the tax machinery has been assigned to materialize one of the toughest revenue targets of FBR's whole history despite latest agreement where the government agreed slashing down the target from Rs 5,503 billion to Rs 5,270 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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