Formation of new Directorate Generals by FBR criticized

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has formed three new Directorates General as part of restructuring campaign, which include Directorate Generals of International Tax Operation, Directorate General of Input Output Co-Efficient Organization and Directorate General of Broadening of Tax Base.[the_ad id=”31605″]The creation of these new offices is being criticized widely, as FBR officers believe that these posts were only created to accommodate officers and award them with fancy offices, while there would be no productive outcome of these Directorates Generals.

An official said that the entire hierarchy of Customs and Inland Revenue was being disturbed in the name of restructuring, and new posts were being created without rationale creating conflict among the jurisdictions of various offices.

The official said there was a dire need to centralize certain departments of the Customs to increase efficiency and streamlining of revenue collection. For instance, the Research & Development (R&D) of Customs, presently operating at Collectorate level, needs to be centralized under a Chief Collector or Director General.

A centralized R&D would ensure detection and proper prosecution of frauds, under-invoicing, mis-declaration and smuggling. The official said presently investigation officers are transferred without planning and thus the cases pursued by such officials get weaker.

Moreover, the Law Section should be made a separate centralized department under a Chief Collector/Director General, which would ensure effective prosecution and revenue recovery. The Customs would be able to hire good lawyers. Presently, the lawyers are hired by Customs at very low fees, and yet most of these lawyers happily represent Customs because of the opportunity that comes with the position to make deals with the accused.

An official informed that Customs was only paying Rs40,000 to 50,000 to lawyers for a case, which is very low. Hence, these lawyers connive with the accused and weaken prosecution causing revenue loss to the government.

An official said, restructuring needs proper planning and homework, while the present regime is only making adhoc decisions, which were only contributing negatively.

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