KARACHI: Member FBR Dr. Irshad has assumed the look after charge of the office of Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as Nisar Mohammad Khan has retired on January 18, 2017. The announcement for the new chairman is likely on January 25, 2017. A farewell ceremony held at Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Islamabad to mark the end of a robust tenure of Nisar Mohammad Khan as Chairman FBR. Several officers are being considered for the vacant office while rumor mongers are naming Secretary Statistics Division Tariq Pasha, Member IRS-Policy Rehmatullah Wazir and Director General I&I-IRS Khawaja Tanveer as candidates. Sources said Tariq Pasha was quite close to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and he is performing very important official responsibilities for the Ministry of Finance. Therefore, it is less likely that Pasha could be moved. Khawaja Tanveer is investigating the Panama Leaks issue and determining the legality of funds transferred and stashed in off-shore companies. Appointing Tanveer as Chairman FBR would provide another thing for Chairman PTI Imran Khan to make an issue. Government is quite cautious in the pre-election year and it is anticipated that the person investigating Panama Leaks would not be moved. Member-IRS Rehmatullah Wazir is a very competent and reputed officer and he is the most eligible candidate for the office of Chairman FBR. It is also a possibility that someone not on the radar could be made Chairman, but officers are of the view that officer from Customs or IRS Group should head the revenue body as officer of some other group takes time in understanding the affairs of FBR, which affects the revenue collection. Since there is no such officer in Pakistan Customs at the moment, so Rehmatullah Wazir is the likely chairman. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in Davos and from there he would visit his children in London. His arrival in Pakistan is expected on January 24, 2017 and the new chairman FBR would liley be notified on January 25, 2017. Nisar Mohammad Khan has been a very efficient chairman and achieved almost all the targets assigned to the revenue body. In 2014, Nisar Mohammad Khan was given the task to phase out the concessionary regime as IMF had been pressing the Pakistan government to do away with concessionary regime. While he was Member Tariff, he formed a team of competent officers including Additional Collector Dr. Iftikhar, Assistant Collector Rafiullah Bangash, Principal Appraisers Kaleem Haider, Javed Akhtar and Muzaffar Rizvi. Within a period of three months Nisar Mohammad Khan along with the above mentioned team eliminated several unnecessary concessionary SROs while concessions considered important for the local industry were converted in the 5th Schedule of Customs Act, 1969. The concessions were made part of Act to avoid undue influence of trade bodies. Being Member Customs, Nisar Mohammad Khan eliminated several concessionary SROs under volume-II and eliminated the zero-rating regime to minimum 1.0 percent duty regime. The incumbent chairman would be faced with severe challenges as Nisar Mohammad Khan has set the bar quite high.