FBR Bypasses Finance Secretary, Secures Allowance Approval from PM Secretariat
FBR Bypasses Finance Secretary, Secures Allowance Approval from PM Secretariat

The interim prime minister has given the green light to a 140% increase in the FBR’s Headquarters allowance for grade 17 to 22 officers, effective from November 1, 2023. Following the pattern of executive allowances in other ministries/divisions, the government has sanctioned this allowance for higher-grade officers at the FBR headquarters. Estimated to cost Rs430 million annually, the government emphasizes that these expenses will be covered only through allocated resources for the FBR during the current fiscal year, aligning with the ban on supplementary grants under the ongoing IMF’s Standby Arrangement (SBA) program.

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Official sources confirm that the FBR bypassed the finance secretary’s endorsement, directly forwarding the proposal to the PM Secretariat. An FBR officer at the PM Secretariat played a crucial role in securing the allowance’s approval.

While officers at the FBR headquarters receive various incentives, including awards and additional pay for meeting tax collection targets, there’s a perception that field formation officers effectively manage their finances, making a monthly salary increase unnecessary. However, officers in remote areas lack housing facilities.

Notably, staff at the FBR in grades 1 to 16 have been overlooked, despite receiving meager salaries. The notification from the Ministry of Finance’s Regulation Wing outlines conditions for the allowance’s admissibility, emphasizing it will only apply to officers in BPS 17-22 at FBR Headquarters in Islamabad. Other allowances, such as FBR Performance Allowance and Fixed FBR Incentive, will cease for these officers, and the expenditure will be covered by the FBR’s allocated budget for FY 2023-24, without additional funds granted.

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