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Government may appoint new CBR chief for three years

ISLAMABAD (December 23 2003): The government has to appoint new chairman of Central Board of Revenue (CBR) for a period of at least three years for the continuation of tax reform process after expected retirement of Riaz Ahmed Malik in March 2004.

However, it is not clear whether Malik would be offered to continue working on this slot on contract basis after retirement in March.

A senior government official told Business Recorder here on Monday that presently most of the senior tax officials or members are either about to retire or are left with one or two years of service on their credit.

In these circumstances the most appropriate senior most CBR Member is Muhammad Ramazan Bhatti, who has still to serve for more than six years.

He has experience of all important positions including member sales tax.

The remaining senior most CBR Members have either two years or one year of service left.

In the past, sources said, most of the time the government selected CBR chairman from DMG group.

The CBR is in the process of implementation of reforms and revamping of tax agency as per commitment with the international donors, which needs an experienced tax manager for a minimum period of three years.

However, sources said that it would be very difficult for the government to hire some one from the private sector due to the sensitivity of the post.

He said that the government is likely not to choose a person from the private sector for this top slot. Either the person would be from the DMG group or authorities would have to take into account the existing seniority list within the tax machinery.

When asked whether appointment of CBR chairman would be made on the guidelines of international donors, the official categorically denied saying that the donor agencies have nothing to do with the appointment of CBR chairman as the IMF programme would conclude by December 2004.

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