KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Amjad Zubair Tiwana, has been granted a three-month extension in his tenure as the Secretary of the Revenue Division.

The ‘Dubai Leaks’ brought in light the ownership of 23,000 properties in Dubai, collectively valued at $11 billion, by Pakistani nationals, including high-profile politicians, military officers, civil servants, and other influential figures. 

The FBR is responsible to probing the legality of these acquisitions and the methods used for transferring funds overseas.

Amidst these investigations, allegations have surfaced regarding the practice of granting out-of-turn promotions as bribes, purportedly to curry favor with political figures. Such promotions are believed to be a means of ensuring leniency in investigations, leading to eventual exoneration of the involved parties.

Inland Revenue Service (IRS) officers have expressed a unanimous stance against these irregular promotions at the forthcoming High Powered Board (HPB) meeting, and are prepared to contest them in the court.

Further complicating matters, instructions from the Prime Minister’s office have been issued to officers to ensure their files are complete and in order, in anticipation of the HPB convening at any moment, which earlier was supposed to be held on June 16-17, 2024.

Concerns have been raised regarding the impartiality of the FBR Chairman, with an official stating that Tiwana’s own history of benefiting from out-of-turn promotions and postings casts doubt on his ability to conduct unbiased investigations.

The unfolding situation poses a challenge to the integrity of the FBR’s investigative processes and raises questions about the accountability mechanisms within Pakistan’s governmental structures.