Shabbar Zaidi appointed FBR chairman

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Syed Shabbar Zaidi as chairperson of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The prime minister made the announcement on Monday during a conversation with senior media persons in the federal capital.

The appointment of Zaidi, a renowned economist and tax affairs expert, came days after the removal of Jahanzeb Khan from the position as head of the tax collection body.

Syed Shabbar Zaidi is a Pakistani chartered accountant and former caretaker Provincial Minister of Sindh, who served in 2013 caretaker ministry. He is also a senior partner in A. F. Ferguson & Co., a member firm of PwC.

He is mainly known for his extensive contribution towards development of taxation and fiscal laws of the country.

Syed Shabbar Zaidi has also authored many books, including Panama Leaks – A Blessing in Disguise – Offshore Assets of Pakistani Citizens, A Journey for Clarity and Pakistan: Not a Failed State.

On Saturday, the government appointed Dr Reza Baqir – a Pakistani economist working for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – as the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.

The key appointments to the key positions come as Islamabad seeks to finalise a bailout package from the global lender IMF.

Last month, Finance Minister Asad Umar was asked to step down amid vital bailout negotiations with the IMF, suggesting the government wants to overhaul its financial team amid weakening growth rates and soaring inflation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan appointed Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh as Adviser on Finance following Umar s resignation, as inflation rose to its highest in six years.

Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, along with the chief minister Sindh and finance ministers of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, held a joint meeting with the IMF Mission led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo.

The IMF Mission was apprised that the federal and provincial governments were constantly engaged on fiscal matters and the National Finance Commission (NFC) and the Fiscal Coordination Committee (FCC) forums were being used for ensuring maximum cooperation and coordination among the federal and provincial fiscal authorities.

The provincial finance ministers apprised the Mission of various initiatives taken in their respective provinces for resource mobilization at the sub-national level to cater for the increasing developmental and social spending needs. They expressed that the revenues from taxation had witnessed marked improvement recently.