Secretary Finance tipped as new Chairman FBR

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By: Naveed Miraj

Islamabad February 1: With the departure of Chairman FBR Shabbar Raza Zaidi looking imminent, the name of current Secretary Finance Naveed Kaman Baloch is fast emerging as the next possible Chairman FBR.Mr. Zaidi who had joined the position from the private sector in the year 2019 when PTI government shacked up its economic management team ahead of its signing credit facility with International Monetary Fund. Mr. Zaidi considered an expert on taxation was projected as someone who could transform the FBR and achieve targets of increasing revenues collection and bringing into tax nets those sectors that have traditionally avoided it.

In the first seven months of the fiscal year however the revenue shortfall from the projected targets has been growing and is touching 387 billion Rupees. The revised revenue collection target for the full year is Rupees 5238.

Mr. Zaidi who apparently has taken away out on the pretext of ill health, had an uneasy relationship with Dr Hafiz Sheikh Federal Advisor on Finance. Dr. Sheikh was also brought in almost the same time when Mr. Zaidi was picked up.

Reportedly Mr. Zaidi has communicated to the Prime Minister that he had not been allowed to function freely in his position and also many of his policy suggestions were not adopted which resulted in low revenue collection.

If Mr. Naveed Kamran Baloch is transferred as Chairman FBR, current special secretary for Finance Mr. Omar Hamid is likely to be appointed as Secretary Finance.