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Govt appoints Asim Ahmad as FBR chairman

Asim Ahmad is an Inland Revenue Officer officer of Grade 21.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Wednesday appointed Inland Revenue Service (IRS) officer Asim Ahmad as the new chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

A notification to this effect was issued today after the cabinet approved the summary to remove Ashfaq Ahmed Khan from the post appointing Asim as the new chairman of the tax collection authority.

“With the approval of the federal government, Mr Asim Ahmad, a BS-21 officer of Inland Revenue Service, is appointed as the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue under Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973, with immediate effect and until further orders,” a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat stated.

Asim Ahmad previously held the charge of FBR chief from April to August, 2021, when he was replaced by the then Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government after a cyberattack on taxpayers’ data. Subsequently, Ashfaq Ahmed was elevated to the top slot.

The government was initially considering names of three IRS officers — Asim Ahmad, Nadeem Rizvi and Tariq Pasha — and one from Customs, Tariq Huda, for the FBR’s top slot.

However, the final decision was taken after Finance Minister Miftah Ismail discussed measures with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume the loan programme.  As part of the IMF programme, the FBR already imposed over Rs350 billion in taxes in January this year.

The FBR collected Rs4.382 trillion in the first nine months (July to March) of the current fiscal year, Rs248bn higher than the target and growing around 30pc year-on-year.

This growth was achieved even though sales tax on all petroleum products has been reduced to zero for the first time in the country’s history, costing the tax body Rs45bn in March alone.

Former prime minister Imran Khan announced a cut in petrol and electricity prices despite a steep rise in the global oil market, pledging to freeze the new rates until the next budget in June. He said FBR’s revenue collection was exceeding the targets. In public rallies, he has repeatedly talked about the FBR’s performance.

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