LAHORE: The appointment of Muhammad Jahanzaib Khan as the new chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has created another controversy within the department as all the senior officers have denied working under him besides deciding to challenge his appointment in the Supreme Court (SC).
The approval regarding the appointment of Jahanzaib Khan as FBR chairman was given during federal cabinet’s meeting on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the officers and employees of Corporate Regional Tax office, Regional Tax Office-2 and Large Tax Payers Unit performed their duties while wearing black bands on their arms in protest against the new chairman.
Talking to Pakistan Today, an officer said that Jahanzaib Khan is an officer of Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) while the appointment should have been made from the Inland Revenue Service (IRS). He was of the view that PAS officers are not capable of understanding tax related matters.
The PTI government wants reforms in the tax department but it cannot change the system with these officers, he added.
The new FBR chairman became controversial in 2009 when he was appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to France by the then Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government. At that time, over 100 senior officers of the Foreign Service protested against Jahanzaib Khan’s appointment after which the then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani had to remove Khan from ambassadorship.
Khan has worked as a member of Punjab Planning and Development (P&D) department. Out of the 56 companies’ scandal facing inquiries by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), 18 had been formed in Punjab after the approval P&D department where employees were recruited on huge salaries. Interestingly, Khan was a member of the department at that time.
FBR officials said that the FBR chairman belongs to the 15th common group the civil service academy while there were scores of senior and competent officials of IRS present in FBR belonging to the 10th common group.
Talking about the senior officers in FBR, officials informed that member HRM Nadeem Dar, member Facilitation and Taxpayers Education Lubna Farrukh Mirza, member Admin Tasneem Rehman and Rana Ahmad, member IT Khawaja Adnan Zaheer and others were officers from commons group 10 to 14 who have vast experience in taxation. “Appointing Jahanzaib Khan as chairman is not just unfair to the department, but also with other senior officials of IRS,” they maintained.
Moreover, officers alleged that the new chairman was also facing cases before the National Accountability Bureau which is why he was not acceptable to the department. They added that in the past too, governments had appointed chairmen from other groups which had been affecting FBR’s efficiency.