ISLAMABAD                -            The government has yet to decide to appoint a new chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) after Shabbar Zaidi went on an indefinite leave in the start of February.

Shabbar Zaidi has extended his leave due to medical reasons. However, it is not clear when will he resume his duties. The government had appointed Nausheen Javaid Amjad, BS-22 officer of Inland Revenue, as acting chairman FBR.

The government is indecisive to appoint a new chairman FBR at the time when FBR is struggling to achieve the revised tax collection target during the ongoing financial year.

Officials informed that the government might consider few names including Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Nausheen Javed, Javed Ghani, Mujtaba Memon and some others for the slot of chairman FBR, if it does not want to continue with Shabbar Zaidi.

The government is also considering appointing Haroon Akhtar Khan as Special Assistant to PM on Revenues.

Haroon had recently met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and briefed him on key areas which have proven to be major revenue spinners in the past and have been showing a negative growth in revenue collection during 2019-20.

Akhtar has already worked as Special Assistant to PM on Revenues during the PML-N government.

The government’s indecisiveness to appoint a new chairman FBR is creating problems in reforms in FBR and tax collection efforts.

Earlier in January 2020, the FBR’s tax collection efforts were badly hurt when Zaidi went on leave and later he had not worked actively after assuming his office. The FBR had faced revenue shortfall of Rs104 billion in the month of January, as it collected Rs321 billion in January as against the target of Rs425 billion.

The government is struggling to achieve the revised tax collection target during the current fiscal year. Tax collection shortfall had already swelled to Rs383 billion in seven months (July to January) period of the year 2019-20. The FBR has collected Rs2408 billion as compared to the actual target of Rs2791 billion and Rs2552 billion revised target.