LAHORE - The Federal Revenue Alliance Union of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has condemned the appointment of Shahid Hussian Assad as Member Tax Policy, who has been accused in several corruption cases by the NAB and was later cleared through NRO. He, issued exemption certificates of billions of rupees to favourite companies.

The FBR union central president Mian Abdul Qayyum criticized the proposal of the Tax Policy Member for downsizing of lower staff in the FBR. Instead of reducing number of high officials who have nothing to do with collection of revenue, the government is being asked to lay off lower staff, whose role to collect tax is vital. He said that in past, more than 3,000 posts of 1 to 16 grade were abolished while vacancies of commissioners were raised to 5 from 1 in spite of no requirement.

FBR union president Abdul Qayyum and general secretary Gulam Akbar Chandio criticized the proposed policy of attaching 2.5 persons with an officer, as it is not practical. They said there is proper policy for the promotion of grade 17 to 22 officials but no rule exists for lower staff upgradation. The member of tax policy is trying to confuse the finance ministry as well as the FBR new chairman Tariq Bajwa, diverting their attention to the union from the corruption of billions of rupees of high officials. They said that inspectors or lower staff could not exempt any company or firm from tax only high officials can do this and are minting money.

The ministry should take action against such criminals, they demanded. Appreciating the role of union to enhance revenue collection, the union leaders said that it unearthed the scandal of so-called non-resident companies, which were defrauding Rs300 billion annually in connivance with the high officials.

Though the then chairman of the FBR Ali Arshad Hakeem abolished the exemption for them yet the high officials have not recovered about Rs. 2,500 billion of tax exemption from those 1200 companies.

They said that government always denied promotions to lower staff, adding that the government is spending millions on senior officials, while the lower staff is constantly being ignored, which is the key to collect revenue.