KARACHI: The Senate Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization will meet on Oct 20 with a very important agenda including threadbare discussion on the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment Bill 2014). The other items on agenda include role/responsibilities, functions and performance of the Statistic Division and its attached departments. Besides the committee would consider matters pertaining to FBR like Anti-smuggling measures and border security at Chaman, Torkham and Pak Iran Border, performance of field formations and negligence/poor performance if any, reforms in FBR, Up-gradation/Promotion policy of FBR in Customs Department particularly up-gradation from BS 16 to BS-17 of the post of the Superintendents (Customs) Superintendents (Preventive) and Principal Appraisers.

Earlier Cabinet Division has returned the summary forwarded by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) suggesting up-gradation of senior BPS-16 officers of Customs into BPS-17 and marked several anomalies.

FBR proposed the up-gradation of Customs Superintendent, Superintendent Preventive and Principal Appraiser from BPS-16 to BPS-17.

Highlighting the anomalies, Cabinet Division noted that Civil Servants Act, 1973 requires promotion to be from a post in lower pay scale to a post in higher pay scale.

Moreover, the post of Assistant Collector (BS-17) is filled in 75 percent by initial appointment through CSS and 25 percent from the department cadre. Customs Superintendent, Superintendent Preventive and Principal Appraiser are the feeding posts of Assistant Collector and placing the feeding post and the promotion post in the same pay scale will result in a hierarchical anomaly.

Besides, the Cabinet Division noted that it would not be possible to limit the impact of proposed up-gradation to Customs only. Similar posts of IRS would also have to be upgraded.

The posts proposed to be upgraded required fieldwork and as such, the FBR has not clearly distinguished between the jobs descriptions of the said posts with the post of Assistant Collector, which is the promotion post in this case.

It may be recalled that batches of appraisers were appointed in 1984 and 1988, they were called technical appraisers and were highly qualified including engineers, chemists and MS. Despite lapse of over 20 years, these officials are still in BPS-16. However, officers appointed in the same batch, in other departments such as KANUPP, NEPRA, OGRA etc have been promoted until Grade-20.