ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Law Minister Ahmed Irfan Aslam has expressed reservations about the restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), emphasizing that the interim government lacks the authority to legislate significant changes.
The inter-ministerial committee, led by Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, held a meeting for the second consecutive day to push the FBR to resubmit the restructuring proposal. This meeting occurred despite the absence of official minutes from the last federal cabinet meeting under Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.
It was decided that the minutes of inter-ministerial meetings would be shared first, and then firm decisions would be made on forwarding recommendations to the federal cabinet regarding this complex issue.
Sources confirmed that Akhtar met with the prime minister on Thursday before chairing the inter-ministerial meeting. During the meeting, she reportedly made extensive efforts to persuade committee members to compel the FBR to resend the restructuring proposal to the federal cabinet by the deadline of January 29, 2024. However, no decision has been reached so far.
Minister Aslam, during the meeting, opposed making drastic changes to the laws. Another minister questioned whether FBR employees would retain their status as civil servants after the restructuring.
Meanwhile, FBR officers have approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and requested intervention to prevent caretakers from proceeding with the restructuring. They argue that this decision should be deferred to the upcoming government after the elections, as it exceeds the mandate of caretakers and violates the Election Act.
The FBR officers are hopeful that the ECP will instruct the government accordingly, but as of now, the commission has not made any decision on the matter.