It’s Conflict of Interest and Illegal —- Declare Zaidi’s appointment as null and void or we will move the court: FBR Officials
ISLAMABAD: The senior officials of the Federal Board of Revenue have opposed the appointment of Shabbar Zaidi as the new chairman, saying legal requirements were not fulfilled for the purpose.
According to reports which quoted the FBR sources, the senior FBR officials have warned that they will move the court in case the Establishment Division does not declare the appointment null and void. They have already sent a notice to the Establishment Division.
They are of the opinion that the government would have to advertise the vacancy if it wants to hire the services of someone from private sector after which interviews has to be conducted before the final selection.
The development is a result of the unrest and strong disappointment among the FBR ranks. They conveyed their serious concerns and reservations over the government’s decision.
The appointment of a partner of chartered accountant firm to this most important and sensitive position is being considered a high-risk move because of the conflict of interest.
Previously, the Islamabad High Court declared Arshad Ali Hakeem’s appointment as the FBR chairman illegal and unconstitutional.
Being a senior partner of AF Ferguson & Co, Zaidi’s appointment has raised serious doubts about his impartiality and sincerity with the premier revenue agency as he is pleading the cases of companies involving hundreds of billions of rupees as tax.
Moreover, his appointment means that more than 10 senior most Inland Revenue Service (IRS) and Pakistan Customs Service officials serving in BPS-22 are ignored. This action has also been viewed as mistrust and no-confidence in more than 2,000 officials working in the both cadres of FBR.
The sources are saying that the government is repeatedly demoralising the two cadres by appointing the FBR chairman either from the PAS and now a private individual from a chartered accountant firm. If at all his expertise is inevitable to be utilised, the government may appoint him as advisor being its prerogative to appoint any person against a position meant for political appointees.
The FBR officials have requested the government to review this decision and appoint someone a BPS-22 official from the IRS or the Customs; otherwise the prevailing unrest may further widen the revenue shortfall being faced by the FBR through the wrong policy measures taken by the previous government without working out the revenue implications.