ISLAMABAD  -   The government has reshuffled 95 senior officers of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) after facing massive shortfall of Rs170 billion in tax collection during six months (July to December) of the ongoing financial year.

The FBR provisionally collected net revenue of over and above Rs 1,779 billion during first half (July-December) 2018-19 against target of Rs 1,949 billion, reflecting a shortfall of Rs 170 billion. The FBR provisionally collected Rs 1779 billion during first half (July-December) 2018-19 against Rs 1722 billion in same period of 2017-18, showing an increase of Rs 7 billion. The FBR could not achieve the tax collection target despite the fact that PTI led government had introduced mini budget in mid September. The federal government changed the top officials of the FBR following the tax shortfall.

This is consecutive second month when the government is changing officials of FBR as it had already reshuffled its senior officers last month (December). Last month, the government had removed top five members of the FBR after revenue collection posted Rs112 billion shortfall against the target. However, in a recent development, the government has transferred and posted 95 officers after facing Rs170 billion shortfall including six officers of FBR of BS-21. Similarly, officers of BS-20, BS-19, BS-18, BS-17 and BS-16 have been transferred.

According to the notification, Abdul Rashid Sheikh (Pakistan Customs Service/BS-21) is transferred and posted as Director General, Directorate General of Post Clearance Audit Islamabad from Chief Collector of Customs (Appraisement-South) Karachi. Similarly, Suraiya Ahmed Butt (Pakistan Customs Service/BS-21) is transferred and posted as Chief Collector of Customs (Appraisement-South) Karachi from Director General, Directorate General of Customs Valuation Karachi. Meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmad Warraich (Pakistan Customs Service/BS-21) is transferred and posted as Director General Directorate General of Transit Trade Karachi from Director General, Directorate General of Internal Audit (Customs), Islamabad (stationed at Lahore).

Furthermore, Wasif Ali Memon (Pakistan Customs Service/BS-21) is transferred and posted as Chief Collector of Customs (Enforcement) Karachi from Chief Collector of Customs (North) Islamabad. Meanwhile, Shaher Bano Walajahi (Inland Revenue Service/BS-21) has assigned the additional charge of the post of Director General (Research & Development), FBR (HQ) Islamabad in addition to her own duties till the posting of a regular incumbent. Asim Ahmad (Inland Revenue Service/BS-21) has assigned the additional charge of the post of Director General (BTB) and Director General (Immovable Property), FBR (HQ) Islamabad in addition to his own duties till the posting of a regular incumbent. Similarly, other officers of BS-20, BS-19, BS-18, BS-17 and BS-16 were also transferred to the other posts.

The FBR is struggling to achieve its monthly targets, which had resulted in massive tax collection shortfall in first six months. The FBR collected Rs405 billion in December 2018 against the target of Rs 470 billion, reflecting a shortfall of Rs 65 billion. The provisional collection for the month of December 2017 was Rs 417 billion.

The continuous failure of FBR in achieving its tax collection target is forcing the government to introduce another mini budget in next couple of weeks. The PTI led government had planned to announce second supplementary budget in January envisaging additional revenue measures of about Rs155-160 billion.