ISLAMBAD - At a time when tax machinery has to collect Rs 782 billion in last quarter (April-June) of the ongoing financial year to reach the annual tax collection target, the government has given the charge of chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to Shahid Rahim Sheikh of customs group on temporary basis.

The government considered the names of Shahid Rahim Sheikh of custom group and Malik Samad of Inland Revenue Service (IRS) for the slot of chairman FBR. However, charge has been given to Shahid Rahim Shaikh on temporary basis.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the FBR Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem. Senior officers of IRS have challenged the appointment of Ali Arshad Hakeem as chairman FBR in the IHC. Similarly, the government has also cancelled the contract of Senior Member Inland Revenue Asrar Rauf, who was hired on contract basis for one year.

The new FBR chairman would face massive revenue collection target in last three months of the current financial year. The FBR has to collect Rs 782 billion during the last quarter (April-June) of the current fiscal year in order to meet the revised target of Rs 2126 billion. The FBR has to collect Rs 260.67 billion in each month of the last quarter (April, May and June) of the ongoing financial year to reach the revised target, which is challenging for the tax department at a time when general elections are around the corner.

FBR has provisionally collected Rs 1344 billion during the nine months (July-March) of the present financial year 2012-2013 as against Rs 1260 billion of the corresponding period of the last year, showing an increase of 6.7 percent that is well below the 23.7% increase needed to meet budget targets.

FBR is struggling to achieve the revenue collection target during the ongoing financial year 2012-2013. The FBR has twice revised the revenue collection target during the ongoing financial year 2012-2013 due to poor performance of the tax department. Earlier, FBR revised the budgetary revenue target to Rs2,231 billion from Rs2,381 billion for the current fiscal year, showing a shortfall of Rs150 billion. Later, FBR further revised the tax collection target to Rs.2126 billion during the ongoing fiscal year 2012-2013.