ISLAMABAD: The government has given additional charge of Secretary Revenue to FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa with immediate effect.
In pursuance of Establishment Division’s notification, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa has assumed the charge of the post of Secretary Revenue Division with effect from 05.07.2013, states a notification issued by the FBR on Monday.
Mr Tariq Bajwa, a 21 grade DMG officer, was the choice of the PML-N government for top slot of tax machinery. Earlier, he had served as Secretary Finance Punjab during the last tenure of Mian Shahbaz Sharif during last three years.
After assumption of this charge, the FBR Chairman, being Secretary Revenue Division will be able to move summaries directly to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. In some way this is a step towards giving autonomy to the FBR.
The FBR’s autonomy is critical in the wake of historic and massive revenue shortfall witnessed by the FBR in last financial year. The FBR’s revenue collection does not match with any other macroeconomic figure because this department is marred with corruption and inefficiency. Now the economists have started talking about abandoning of the FBR department and coming up with new blood by hiring young masters’ degree holders to collect taxes. The FBR’s tax system is running on auto mode as majority of taxes are collected at import or withholding stages having no practical contribution of the FBR.
To achieve a highly ambitious tax target of Rs 2475 billion, the FBR requires out-of-box solution; otherwise, another massive shortfall is waiting for the FBR in the ongoing fiscal year, which the country cannot afford after giving commitments to the IMF for obtaining $5.3 billion loan package.