Shabbar denies reports of resignation, yet his return to FBR is unlikely

KARACHI: Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi has clarified that he has not tendered his resignation from the office of Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Zaidi also mentioned that he was on leave because of his acute illness.

Although, Zaidi has denied tendering his resignation, his assuming the office of Chairman back again does not look probable. PM Imran Khan has also hinted that if Shabbar could not recover from his illness anytime soon, someone else could be appointed Chairman FBR.

Since becoming the head of revenue body, Shabbar Zaidi has been under severe pressure as he has not been able to deliver the targets he was assigned.

In first face-to-face meeting between Pakistan and the IMF for second review talks, the government informed the IMF that it cannot collect more than Rs4.7 trillion while the IMF stressed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should still aim at Rs5.238 trillion.

It was also known that difference had been developed between Chairman FBR and Advisor to PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Prime Minister also held meeting with former senator Haroon Akhtar, and there are reports that Haroon Akhtar might replace Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

Harron Akhtar was PM’s Special Assistant on revenue in the previous government. During that time Customs became the hub of corruption and smuggling.

The entire Board particularly the Customs Group is going through a crisis. The recent events wherein Member Customs Agha Jawwad and certain other Collectors of Customs were made OSD, an uncertain situation is prevailing at Customs.

Sources said important developments were expected this week as a final decision regarding Chairman FBR and appointment of a new Member Customs are expected this week

Certain BS-21 officers including Tariq Huda, Wasif Memon, Abul Rasheed Shaikh, Faiz Ahmed and Dr. Fareed Iqbal Qureshi are being considered for the office of Member Customs. Tariq Huda is presently posted in Ministry of Commerce and he is reportedly not interested in coming back to FBR.

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