Caretakers cannot legislate drastic changes to FBR: law minister

FBR officers approach ECP to stop caretaker government from restructuring of tax authority

A policeman walks past the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) office building in Islamabad, Pakistan, on August 29, 2018. — Reuters
A policeman walks past the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) office building in Islamabad, Pakistan, on August 29, 2018. — Reuters 
  • Law Minister Ahmed Irfan Aslam opposes drastic changes in laws.
  • FBR officers approach ECP seeking to stop govt from restructuring.
  • Akhtar holds meeting to force FBR to resend restructuring summary.

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Law Minister Ahmed Irfan Aslam has raised concerns over the restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), making it clear that the interim government does not have the power to legislate drastic changes, The News reported Friday. 

The inter-ministerial committee, led by Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, continued meeting on the second consecutive day on Thursday to force the FBR to resend the summary for restructuring. 

The meeting was held despite the non-issuance of official minutes of the last federal cabinet meeting held under Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.

It was decided that the minutes of inter-ministerial meetings would be shared first. Then the members would take firm decisions on this complex issue of forwarding their recommendations to the federal cabinet.

Sources confirmed that Akhtar held a meeting with the prime minister on Thursday before chairing the inter-ministerial meeting during which she made all-out efforts to convince the committee members to force the FBR to resend the summary to the federal cabinet within the stipulated timeframe of January 29, 2024. 

But, so far, no decision has been made.

However, Aslam, in the meeting, opposed such drastic changes in the laws. Meanwhile, another minister asked whether the FBR employees would remain civil servants after the revamping.

On the other hand, the officers of FBR have already approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and asked to stop the caretakers from plunging into restructuring and said this matter should be left to the upcoming government after the elections. 

They argued in the filed representation that it was not the mandate of the caretakers to take such a drastic decision that violated the Election Act.

The FBR officers hope the ECP would issue instructions to the government to this effect but so far the commission has not taken any decision.

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