Customs Intelligence Directorate seeks more powers

ISLAMABAD (November 13 2005): Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation, Customs and Excise, has sought more autonomy and powers from the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to independently go for intelligence-related activities with latest equipment and technology, without intervention of the Board.

Official sources told Business Recorder on Saturday that the meeting on restructuring of the directorate was held at the Board, which was attended by D.G I & I, CBR Member Tax Policy and Reforms, Member Customs and other senior officials.

The directorate asked the CBR to give double the salary package of all its employees, under the restructuring plan. The Directorate also sought independence for taking administrative decisions, as presently this agency is bound to take approval of CBR Chairman in this regard.

The CBR will not conduct inquiry/prosecution against its employees and field formation by outside agencies without recommendations of D.G I &I. Tax officials should also give access to confidential information about the officials.

The CBR should give autonomy of budget to the directorate for spending the allocated amount independently.

Officials said that the directorate has also demanded powers to prepare intelligence reports about the activities of tax officials. These reports could be considered for promotion and transfer of officials.

The scope of the directorate would be expanded to all taxes including sales tax, income tax and federal excise duty (FED), whereas presently it is legally empowered to deal with customs related issues.

It has demanded legal cover to carry out intelligence activities with latest gadgets for which more funds are required.

The directorate has also proposed to rename the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation, Customs and Excise as Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence and Vigilance.

The directorate should be authorised to submit annual performance report to the Ministry of Finance.

The capacity building of officers and staff in specialised intelligence institutions is also needed.

The meeting discussed these proposals threadbare and decided that the directorate would carry out detailed study on cases of revenue leakage and provide information for formulation of policy to check smuggling and tax evasion. It would also gather intelligence/information to carry out preliminary investigation and then report to the relevant authorities for taking the legal course. Directorate would also have the authority to report on malpractice's and corruption of tax officials to the chairman CBR.

Officials said that the meeting also discussed the logistic support needed for the directorate to carry out its new role of vigilance. Other proposals pertaining to autonomy and administrative powers needed more deliberation.

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