KARACHI: Asim Ahmad, an Inland Revenue Service (IRS) officer, will be the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) again. A summary in this regard has been forwarded to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, which is likely to be approved in a day or two. He is the brother of Amir Hussain, a Pakistan Customs Service (PCS) officer who retired in BS-21.

Soon after taking oath earlier this month, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a one-on-one meeting with Mr Ashfaq. However, no official word is available about the meeting.

Dr. Ashfaq Hussain had been appointed Chairman on the recommendations of former Advisor Shahzad Akbar based on Dr. Ashfaq’s performance in Qazi Faiz Isa case. Dr. Ashfaq was a junior officer and he was appointed chairman superseding several officers. Officials say Dr. Ashfaq’s tenure was not a good administrator.

Dr. Ashfaq was elevated to the post on August 25, 2021 by the previous government, replacing Asim Ahmad after a cyberattack on taxpayers’ data.

Member Customs Tariq Huda was also a favorite candidate for the office of Chairman FBR as collected Rs23 billion in excess of target assigned to Customs in 2021. The largest anti-smuggling campaign was undertaken by Member Customs Tariq Huda. He appointed very competent and high profile officers on sensitive positions, particularly in Karachi.

However, a lobby against Tariq Huda succeeded through reopening cases including under-invoicing of MG Motors. An official said all inquiries and investigations will exonerate Tariq Huda, but the damage is done and Huda is no more a candidate for Chairman.