Inland Revenue officers concerned over the secrecy regarding proposed formation of PRA

KARACHI: The Inland Revenue Service (IRS) has expressed deep concerns over the proposed formation of Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA), which is likely to leave around 10,000 employees redundant and might result in the extinction of the Inland Revenue Service.

The officers are fear end of their carriers and jobs and also planning to stage protests and strikes against the proposed transformation of FBR into PRA.

Sources said the proposed Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA) would be run of BS-20 officers and there would be no role of BS-21 and BS-22 officers. Moreover, a large number of fresh IR officers would be redundant and might be laid off.

At a meeting with Chief Commissioners and Commissioners, Member Inland Revenue – Operations Seema Shakeel asked the officers to come up with meaningful presentations and recommendations, so that Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi could be taken onboard, before anything is imposed on the FBR hierarchy.

“Government is hiding these developments from the FBR bureaucracy, which are the actual stakeholders. Government has not consulted the FBR officers or sought our input in this regard.”

Seema Shakeel said the formation of Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA), as per the proposed plan reaching to them through various sources, would result in elimination of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS), which they would not accept.

“We have to come up with a meaningful alternative proposal to be presented to Chairman FBR Syed Shabbar Zaidi before anything is imposed by the government.”

“We have no idea whether it is implementable or not. But, we want to express our reservations and present an alternate plan,” Seema Shakeel said to the chief commissioners and commissioners adding, “If a time should come to resort to protests and strikes, no one would stop you. But first, we have to proceed in a civilized manner. We have to convince the Chairman that there is no surplus or redundant staff.”

The PTI government is considering transformation of Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) into a single revenue collection body across country to be named Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA), which would also be responsible to collect sales tax on services,

The proposal was discussed at a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad. The meeting had observed that the current structure of FBR is archaic and highly bureaucratic, which does not commensurate with technology driven tax administration in vogue around the world.

Sources claimed the proposal has already been circulated among concerned ministries and departments for vetting, while the Prime Minister Imran Khan has advised concerned authorities to complete the process by June 2020.

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