September 29, 2020

Pakistan’s current government, under pressure from the IMF, proposed the centralization of sales tax collection mechanism and proposed the formation of a centralized sales tax collection authority, named the Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA). The PRA would be formed after merging the departments of CustomsInland Revenue System (IRS) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The FBR and IRS, high ranking officials had opposed the idea and even threatened the government with a pen-down strike if their demands were not met. To resolve the issue, Shabbar Zaidi formed three committees after meeting with the IRS and FBR officials. The committees would be as follows:

  • Chief commissioner Large Tax Payers Unit (LTU) Dr. Faiz Illahi Memon would head the Karachi based Commission and the committee members would include Chief commissioner Amir Ali Khan Talpur, Dr. Aftab Imam, Shahid Iqbal Baloch and Badruddin Ahmad Quraishi.
  • Chief Commissioner Syed Nadeem Hussain Rizvi would head the Lahore based commission and the members would include Chief Commissioner Asim Majid Khan and Ahmad Shuja Khan.
  • DG Intelligence and Investigation Asim Ahmed would head the Rawalpindi based committee and the members would be Chief Commissioner Dr. Bashirullah Khan, Dr Shamsul Hadi and Muhammad Naseer Butt.

The commissions would give recommendations to the commissions regarding the formation of the PRA. Previously the government had approved the proposed plans for the formation of the PRA. This step by the government shows that the previous proposal was formed without involving all the stakeholders and without doing proper homework. Meanwhile, the customs officials have no issue with the formation of PRA and they would be getting 38 new BPS-21 posts after their merger into the PRA.

Muhammad Asad

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