ISLAMABAD - In a bid to achieve mammoth tax collection target of Rs3.1 trillion set for the ongoing fiscal year, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar yesterday reshuffled top officials of the Federal Board of Revenue and appointed Nisar Muhammad as the new chairman FBR.

The federal government has been struggling to meet the tax collection targets for the last two and half years, which forced the economic managers of the country to bring a new team. The government had faced tough time from the IMF during recently-concluded talks for missing quarterly revenue target.

The new FBR team will also be given a task to prepare mini budget worth Rs40 billion, as directed by the IMF. Pakistan will have to impose new taxes for getting next tranche worth $502 million from the International Monetary Fund.

A top official of the Ministry of Finance told The Nation that government had also considered to replace Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood from his post but delayed it for the time being. Dr Waqar has experience to deal with international financial institution that rescued him.

The new team of Nisar Muhammad, former member Customs, will comprise Rehmatullah Khan Wazir as new member IR policy, Waqar Ahmed member administration, Nasir Masroor Ahmed, member customs and Dr Muhammad Irshad member IR operations.

Nisar Muhammad will also be Secretary of Revenue Division.

From the old FBR team, outgoing FBR chairman Tariq Bajwa, will assume responsibilities as secretary Economic Affairs Division in place of Saleem Sethi. He will also act as alternate governor to the finance minister on the World Bank Board of Governors. Meanwhile, Ashraf Khan is being appointed as MD, Wapda, Shahid Hussain Assad as DG National Centre for Rural Development and Shahid Jatoi will be Member in charge, Federal Ombudsman, Karachi.

Outgoing Secretary Economic Affairs Division Saleem Sethi will assume responsibilities as Chairman National Commission for Governmental Reforms.

The finance minister, addressing a meeting of the outgoing and newly-appointed senior FBR officials on Monday, lauded the performance and contribution of Tariq Bajwa and his team and said Bajwa’s transfer was being made on his own request.

Dar said that he expected the newly-appointed chairman FBR and his team to further consolidate the gains to achieve the revenue collection targets for 2015-16.

The minister said achievement of 33 percent growth in revenue collection in the last two years was a commendable job done by Chairman Bajwa and his colleagues. During the period the number of tax payers increased from 700,000 to nearly a million. He also appreciated the process of reforms that has been undertaken under the leadership of Chairman Bajwa and added that it contributed to tax payers’ facilitation and also helped promote tax culture in the country.

The minister also appreciated the performance of Mr Saleem Sethi as Secretary EAD and wished him all the best for his new assignment.