FBR gets regular chairperson

Published December 30, 2020
The Cabi­net on Tuesday appointed Muhammad Javed Ghani as a regular chairperson of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) after a gap of around five months. — Photo: Twitter/File
The Cabi­net on Tuesday appointed Muhammad Javed Ghani as a regular chairperson of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) after a gap of around five months. — Photo: Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: The Cabi­net on Tuesday appointed Muhammad Javed Ghani as a regular chairperson of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) after a gap of around five months.

The position fell vacant in the first week of July when the then FBR chairperson Nausheen Amjad was transferred and posted as federal secretary. Since then, Ghani was given the additional charge of the chairperson of the FBR – the fourth appointment made to the position since the PTI government took office in Aug 2018.

In the first phase, Ghani was given additional charge for a period of three months, which was further extended for another three months in October.

Ghani is a BS-22 officer of the Pakistan Customs Service who is currently posted as FBR Member Policy (Customs).

According to his Twitter profile, Ghani holds an LLM (Master of Laws) degree in international economic law from Warwick University.

The summary to approve regular appointment of Ghani to the post of FBR chief was approved by the federal cabinet which is led by Prime Minister Ian Khan.

Tax officials believe the FBR is facing huge shortfalls in revenue collection in the second year of the PTI government. It is estimated that revenue shortfalls will be in the range of Rs400 billion to Rs600bn by end June 2021.

The current five months saw just a growth of over four per cent in revenue collection over the last year. FBR held out an assurance to the IMF to record more than 24pc growth in achieving the revenue target for the current fiscal year.

The FBR also did not meet the deadlines of World Bank funded projects to bring desired reforms including single sales tax regime in the country.

On April 6, 2020 the government had named Ms Amjad as the FBR chief. However, she was replaced after three months. The cabinet later terminated Shabbar Zaidi’s honorary/pro-bono appointment, which was meant to last for two years.

The post had fallen vacant in February when Zaidi went on an indefinite medical leave only days after resuming office on Jan 21. In his absence, Ms Amjad, who was posted as an FBR Member (Administration), had been looking after the office of the chairperson as well.

PM Khan had appointed Zaidi as FBR chairman in May 2019 with a vision that he would bring about desired reforms and work towards achieving the revenue collection target of Rs5.5 trillion in 2019-20. Zaidi had taken over from Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, who was given the charge of the FBR chief in August 2018.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2020

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