Pakistan Customs Officers Association seeks clarity on the proposed restructuring of FBR

KARACHI: The Pakistan Customs Officers Association has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) high-ups to share the details/document on restructuring of FBR and proposed formation of Pakistan Revenue Authority with all the Members, Chief Collectors and Director Generals officially and seek comments on the same.

President Pakistan Customs Officers Association Zeba Hai Azhar asked all Chief Collectors and Director Generals to conduct broad-based discussions and deliberations with the rank and file of their officers to come up with viable and practicable recommendations.

“Once these recommendations have been firmed up, preferably within two days, a conference on the same be called by the Members’ Customs in FBR of all the Members / Chief Collectors and Director Generals under the leadership of the Chairman FBR so that a broad-based consensual road map for restructuring in FBR can be developed and eventually be approved,” Ms. Azhar noted in a letter to Member Customs Operations and Member Customs Policy.

Consequent to widespread news of restructuring of FBR and forming of Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA), Customs Officers and officials contacted the Pakistan Customs Officers Association and sought clarity on the issue, so that the prevalent confusion and the resultant round of rumor-mongering could be put to a stop.

Accordingly, in order to discuss the concerns of the officers, the Association held a meeting in Karachi of the General Body of Officers of Customs. The Member Customs (Operations) FBR was also contacted telephonically and in person to shed some light on the proposed restructuring, however no clear cut road map to the proposed restructuring was available with him.

During the course of the meeting of the General Body of Officers, the resolve and commitment of the Officers to the whole process of reforms was reiterated.

Further, it was stated that Customs being a forward looking, modern and automated organisation welcomes all forms of reform in their entirety. However, the need for clarity as to the form restructuring would take this whole exercise meaningful, resulting in increased levels of commitment and efficiency were emphasized repeatedly by the officers.

It may be mentioned here that 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 is at a very early stage and aims to eliminate corruption from the revenue collection system.

Sources negated the impression that the government had shelved the plan of forming the Pakistan Revenue Authority, adding the plan was very much in place and would be implemented in due course as per the provisions in the law.

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