Govt. says no plans to downsize FBR workforce


Restructuring of FBR is on the govt.’s agenda to improve its governance, efficiency & effectiveness

KARACHI: The caretaker government said on Saturday that the restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) remains on its agenda, but there were neither any plans to cut the workforce of the tax collecting body or interference in the administrative matters of the Customs or Inland Revenue service by any other agency and ministry.  

The restructuring of FBR is on the government’s agenda “to improve its governance, efficiency and effectiveness,” a statement issued by the Finance Ministry said.  “Certain proposals have been prepared in line with (the) international best practices to rationalize and streamline the functions of the FBR,” strengthen its policy board, and overall governance, integrity and performance, the statement said.

These measures, the statement said, are aimed at introducing “a creative oversight structure that would enhance its accountability to the state and clients.”

“The creation of specialized administrative structures will be accompanied by better delegation and accountability of administration. An institutional mechanism is being considered to establish a Tax Policy group with the right expertise and analytical capability to facilitate rationalization of the tax regime emphasizing fairness and equity in the tax regime.”

The statement said that these proposals have been prepared after months of deliberation and consultation with experts, academics, and senior FBR leadership. “However, these proposals do not include any item relating to the downsizing of the workforce or any outside interference in the administrative matters of Customs or Inland Revenue service by any other agency and ministry,” it added.  

Citing reports carried by a section of digital media on the restructuring of the FBR, the statement said that they misrepresent the objective and scope of reforms needed to lift the tax-GDP ratio, while ensuring level-playing in burden sharing and allowing for tax and investment facilities.”  

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