LAHORE – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has announced to promote 77 inspectors to the rank of Income Tax Officers (ITOs), however, 113 seats of ITOs are still vacant and tax department is reluctant to fill the posts.

Federal Revenue Alliance Unions central president Abdul Qayyum hailed the promotion’s decision of the FBR, however he asked the chairman to fill all other vacant seats of ITOs.

He said that in a meeting of the union held on June 22, it was demanded of the govt to promote all inspectors of FBR, including Customs, Central Excise, Sales Tax and Income Tax. He welcomed FBR decision for the promotion of Income Tax Inspectors. He also demanded the govt to implement the filling of the vacant seats of ITOs by promoting 95 per cent of the inspectors and 5 per cent of stenos, which was approved earlier.

It is to be noted that the FBR had decided to promote Income Tax Inspectors from July, accepting their long-standing demand of upgradation, following the Federal Revenue Alliance Unions threat to go on strike for unlimited period.

The FBR, after a round of talks with the Inspectors Action Committee, had informed in a letter No cc.IR/2010/2011/14675, dated 21/6/2011 that the Inland Revenue Inspectors would be upgraded from BS 14 to BS 16 in the month of July.

Asrar Rauf, Additional Secretary, Revenue Division, FBR, who held a series of talks with the Inspectors Action Committee in Karachi following their three-day strike in Karachi offices for the upgradation of their scale, had admitted that the agenda of the inspectors was genuine and supported with various decisions of the apex court especially, when FBR had upgraded the Auditors/ Superintendents from BS 14. Before this development, FBR inspectors held protests across the country in a series to press government for their due promotions.

The income tax inspectors from across the country came to streets to convince the higher authorities to fulfil their demand of upgradation.

The inspectors ranked officials at the Regional Tax Office (RTO) Lahore performed their duties in their respective offices with black ribbons on their arms in protest.

The officials said that Inland Revenue Services had been denying promotions to its income tax inspectors for the last over 27 years, as no inspector level official has been upgraded since 1983.

They stated that the Inland Revenue Services department made the last promotions in 1982-83 and after this no up-gradation was made. They said that only income tax inspectors have not been given promotions, who are working still in 14th scale while in every other federal department inspectors are given 16th grade.

They made it clear that due to promotion, the government would not have to bear the budgetary burden, as only Rs 200 to Rs 300 will be added in their salaries after promotions.

The officials said the government is spending millions on high officials while the lower staff is constantly being ignored.