According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan wishes to bring Chairman FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) Shabbar Zaidi into government as a State Minister for Revenue or Special Assistant to PM for Revenue.
Zaidi was appointed as the Chairman FBR in early May 2019, since the appointment he implemented major reforms. Under his leadership, the revenue board offered an Asset Declaration Scheme under which a handsome amount of 70 billion rupees from 137,000 declarations was collected. Recently, a historic decision was made to reshuffle as many as 2154 employees of grade 9 to 16 (BPS – 9 – BPS – 16) to improve the efficiency of the board. Zaidi has set a primary target to increase the tax net to ultimately increase the tax collection.
As per the PM’s wish, he might be promoted to the currently vacant office of State Minister for Revenue, as Hammad Azhar (former state minister for revenue) has been given the responsibility of Economic Affair Division. Earlier this appointment, Azhar was made Federal Minister for Revenue but then the appointment was immediately taken back from him.
For the office of chairman FBR, Javed Ghani is might be considered. He is a Grade-22 officer from Pakistan Customs. PM Khan wants to give a free hand to Shabbar Zaidi to design tax policies to correct the loopholes in the system while the chairman of the revenue board would focus on the revenue collection along with the administrative and operational activities.
FBR has so far taken the unprecedented step to pen down the undocumented economy which is currently been much criticized by the trade unions. The board has much pressure to achieve massive revenue collection targets to satisfy the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the sake of the 6 billion USD bail-out package. To achieve the target of 5.5 trillion rupees, the revenue board has to mark a record growth of 44% compared to last year’s collection.