ISLAMABAD - The Federal government on Saturday has assigned the additional charge of chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to Member Customs Javed Ghani for a period of three months or till the appointment of regular chairman FBR after removing Nausheen Javed from the post.

The PTI government has appointed fourth chairman FBR since coming into power. The federal cabinet has approved the appointment of Javed Ghani as FBR chairman for three months through the circulation summary.  “The Federal Government has been pleased to assign additional charge of the post of Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), to Mr. Muhammad Javed Ghani, a BS-22 officer of Pakistan Customs Services (PCS), presently serving as Member, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), for a period of three months or till the posting/appointment of a regular incumbent, whichever is earlier, with immediate effect”, said a notification issued by the Establishment Division.

Nausheen Javed was appointed as FBR chief in April after former chief Shabbar Zaidi had gone on leave for an indefinite period citing health issues. Nausheen Amjad has been transferred and appointed as secretary culture and heritage.

All the three previously posted Chairpersons were removed from the post before completion of their tenure. The PTI government in August 2018 had appointed Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan as chairman FBR, who served at the position from 29th August 2018 to 10th May 2019. Later, the government appointed tax expert Shabbar Zaidi as new head of the tax department. Zaidi remained chairman FBR from 10th May 2019 to April 8 2020. As Shabbar Zaidi refused to continue due to medical reasons, the government appointed Nausheen Javaid Amjad as new chairperson FBR on April 8, 2020 and she also got removed on July 4 2020.

The PTI government had struggled to improve tax collection in last two fiscal years despite changing FBR’s heads several times. In the first year (2018-19) of PTI’s tenure, revenue growth remained negative. The FBR had collected Rs3,826 billion in 2018-19 against revenue collection of Rs3,842 billion in fiscal year 2017-18 under the previous regime.

Later in the second year (2019-20) of its tenure, the government had faced historic shortfall in tax collection. The FBR had missed the budgetary target by whopping Rs1.561 trillion in last fiscal year. The FBR collected Rs3.989 trillion against the initial target of Rs5.55 trillion. The federal government had revised down the tax collection target several times in previous fiscal year.

Initially, the federal government had set tax collection target at Rs5.55 trillion for the last financial year. But it was revised downward to Rs5.238 trillion after first review of IMF under $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme. As the FBR struggled to achieve its monthly targets, the target was reduced to Rs4.8 trillion.

Later, after COVID-19, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) further slashed down the FBR’s tax collection target to the tune of Rs3.907 trillion for outgoing fiscal year. However, at the end of fiscal year, FBR ended up collecting revenue of 3.989 trillion in FY 2019-20, Rs82 billion more than the revised revenue target.

Due to reduction in imports, an impact of Rs700 billion shortages in revenue collection occurred, which resulted in setting a new revised target of Rs4.803 trillion. However, due to continuous lockdown in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the revenue target was further revised to 3.907 trillion which was achieved.