Karachi: The office bearers of the Pakistan Customs Service (PCS) and the interim committee of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) convened with Mr. Amjad Zubair Tiwana, the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), to discuss the contentious profiling and placement of senior officers in the FBR’s Administrative Pool.

The associations voiced their strong disapproval of the non-transparent and seemingly arbitrary methods employed, which have led to a media trial of the officers involved. This has reportedly affected the morale and performance of the officers across both services. The members highlighted the feeling of threat and harassment among officers, citing the lack of adherence to due process as per the existing laws, rules, and regulations intended to address inefficiency, misconduct, and integrity issues.

Despite the challenging economic climate, field formations have continued to collect revenue, yet the officers’ efforts in enforcing the state’s writ have been overlooked by the authorities, the associations lamented. They pointed out that the FBR has successfully met all its assigned targets due to the relentless work of these officers.

Chairman Tiwana acknowledged that while transfer postings are within the government’s purview, the recent placement of certain officers in the admin pool was in response to government directives. He assured the association members that he would facilitate a meeting with the Prime Minister, where officers can formally present their concerns. Additionally, he promised to arrange a Zoom meeting for all customs and IRS officers to clarify the circumstances leading to the current situation.

The meeting also touched upon the ethical stance of the officers (BS-17-22) from both services, who unanimously reject any form of corrupt practices. However, they called for greater caution and transparency in accountability processes, especially considering potential conflicts of interest involving other stakeholders.

The associations warned that the recent upheavals could jeopardize the working conditions of the officers and, by extension, the country’s interests. With only two months remaining in the fiscal year 2024, they fear that the current hostile environment, based on capricious grounds, could impede the achievement of revenue targets.