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PTI Accused Of Misgovernance, Nepotism As FBR Sees Lowest Revenue Growth In 20 Years

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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has seen the lowest revenue growth rate in 20 years and sources within the FBR blame the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for it.

Sources said that on forming government, the PTI had projected to double FBR’s revenue collection from Rs. 4,000 billion to Rs. 8,000 billion within five years. This required an average growth in revenue collection of 20% every year but for the first year, it fixed a relatively modest target of 14% growth.

According to Economic Survey of Pakistan, “FBR has shown a dismal 3% growth in revenue collection. The shortfall against the target is already nearly Rs. 200 billion, which is likely to increase to Rs. 500 billion by the end of the year. The 3% growth is less than the inflation rate, so the real growth is actually negative. The 3% growth is also the lowest in the last 20 years.”

Total collection during the year 2018. (Source: FBR)

Sources said that the shortfall was due to a lot of reasons, but the most significant one was poor administration. It was also said that despite PTI’s promises to bring in good governance, justice and transparency, the posting of officers are still based on cronyism, corrupt practices and breach of merit.

For example, in August 2018, “the government appointed a PAS officer of the 15th CTP as Chairman FBR,” sources said, adding that the FBR officers expressed reservations over the appointment.

Journalist Rauf Klasra had also expressed his reservations over the appointment and claimed that the government’s appointee was involved in several projects of the Pakistan Muslim-League Nawaz (PML-N) government including the controversial Saaf Paani scheme, Orange Train and Laptop Scheme.

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It was also claimed that the person was chosen due to his relationship with Advisor to the Prime Minister Arbab Shahzad.

According to the insider sources, the Chairman has failed to prove himself as a leader and adopt policies that benefit the bureau. “He adopted an indecisive and delaying approach to urgent and burning issues, leading to frustration and disappointment among FBR officers.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Finance Minister Asad Umar were urged to look into the matter to save FBR from further loss.

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Naya Daur