Dr. Mohammad Ashfaq Ahmad, a Grade 21 officer of the Inland Revenue Service, has been made the new FBR chairman –the seventh by the govt of Prime Minister Imran Khan in three years.
On a mean, each chairperson remained just five months and 15 days in office.
There also are chances that Finance Secretary Yousaf Khan could even be transferred, the sources said. Yousaf Khan had been brought in by Dr. Waqar. other changes within the Finance Division and FBR also are expected.
Dr. Waqar, who remained in office for fewer than 10 months, opted to bow out after he couldn’t develop a sustainable working relationship with the minister of finance Shaukat Tarin despite taking an honest start four months ago, sources told The Express Tribune.
Dr. Waqar has resigned as special assistant to the PM on finance and revenue, sources on the brink of him confirmed. They said that the premier has accepted the resignation.
Dr. Waqar, a veteran bureaucrat, had been brought within the PM’s economic team in October last year. He had promised the prime minister to broaden the assets and increase the collection –the two objectives that largely remained unfulfilled.
The government removed the FBR chairman for his mishandling the foremost successful cyberattack on the country’s biggest data center, from which the FBR still couldn’t fully recover even after 10 days.
Read More: Tarin mulls options on FBR hack
The Express Tribune had revealed that the FBR’s data centers had been hacked but the FBR tried to hide the foremost devastating cyberattack.
Ahmad has been removed thanks to his mishandling of the cyberattack, the minister of finance said while lecturing The Express Tribune.
The minister said that the outgoing chairman should have taken the matter more seriously as he had also remained a member of information technology of the FBR.
The minister of finance was kept in the dark about the attack and therefore the damage it caused for about 48 hours. The minister came to understand from the story of The Express Tribune that appeared on Assumption.
Tarin said that a couple of members of the FBR would even be changed but it might be the selection of the new FBR chairman to pick his team members.
The sources said fingers also are pointed at a chief military officer of Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL), its board chairman, and chief information officer for his or her mishandling of issues.
To an issue, the minister of finance said that the system has not yet been fully restored then far only 90% of the recovery was made. The minister had another meeting within the FBR on Tuesday to debate the hacking issue.
Tarin said that the FBR couldn’t utilize the $80 million loan to upgrade its obsolete network.
The Express Tribune had also reported that despite knowing that its information technology equipment is obsolete and a few of its software is outdated, the FBR didn’t make any serious effort to upgrade them, which resulted in the hacking of the info centers.
The systems weren’t improved albeit the planet Bank approved $80 million loans two years ago to upgrade what it called “end-of-life equipment” and “legacy branded software”.
Tarin said that if there have been obstacles in using the WB loan, the FBR should have taken money from the finance ministry and upgraded the system.
The FBR people were of the view that they enhanced monitoring of the info systems after receiving a warning from the premier intelligence. They said that, unlike the past, this point it had been a file-less attack, therefore, people couldn’t detect the attack.
“Within the prevailing software and hardware, we might not have done quite this,” a top FBR functionary said on condition of anonymity while explaining reasons behind the FBR to prevent the attack.
Dr. Ashfaq is that the seventh FBR chairman who faces the task of achieving this year’s annual revenue collection target of Rs5.829 trillion and increasing the narrow assets of only three million return filers.
“The annual collection target is going to be achieved at any cost,” Dr. Ashfaq said while lecturing The Express Tribune. He has got to his credit collecting Rs4.735 trillion in taxes within the last financial year –better than expectations of the many.
“My strategy of not taking tax advances and not blocking the taxpayers’ genuine refunds would continue,” the new chairman FBR said. The FBR wouldn’t spare those that owe money thereto and wouldn’t block the cash that belongs to the taxpayers, Dr. Ashfaq said.
The new chairman said that implementation of the track and trace system and expanding the internet of point of sale to attach the retailers with the FBR system are going to be his topmost priorities. of these changes are going to be made within the next three to four months.
Dr. Ashfaq’s other challenge is going to be to effectively utilize the knowledge received from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and ensure full recoveries of the due taxes.