Official claims he is being targeted unfairly for unearthing scam

The News

PESHAWAR: A senior officer of the Excise and Taxation Department has not only been denied posting after he reportedly unearthed a huge scam and raised tax potential of his district from Rs400,000 per year to Rs350 million but was termed absent from service and his salary was deducted despite his arrival report, a source told The News.

The source said the Provincial Inspection Team has initiated a probe to know the facts as to why Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) Irshadullah has been denied an office room and staff and was termed absent despite his claim that he reported to the department timely and regularly came for duty.

The source added that the Chief Minister’s Complaints and Redressal Cell on June 18 ordered an inquiry into the issue.According to the source, an office order by the department issued on May 23 stated that consequent upon continuous absent from duty, the competent authority is pleased to order the deduction of salary of Irshadullah, ETO office of the Director General Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, from September 27, 2018 till April 30, 2019.

Irshadullah, a grade-18 officer of the Provincial Management Services (PMS) at the office of the Director General Excise and Taxation, in a letter to the Secretary of the Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control Department filed an appeal against ‘injustice and illegal actions by the department against him on personal vendetta and high handedness’. The official claimed he is being unfairly targetted, tortured and teased for the reason that during his posting in southern districts he had unearthed a mega scam and initiated inquiry against a private organization for collection of property tax amounting to Rs150 million.

“The high-ups of the department approached the undersigned for relaxing the property tax assessment rate from Rs7 per square foot to Rs2 per square foot which the undersigned refused and rejected the appeal as per law,” stated the letter sent to Secretary Excise and Taxation. A copy of the letter is available with The News.

The officer said it annoyed the high-ups of the department and they threatened him with dire consequences. “I raised the tax collection of my district from Rs4 million per year to Rs350 million per year but instead of being rewarded, fake inquiries were initiated against me. On June 17, 2019 when I was roaming in the veranda of the department after I was denied an office room, I came to know about the publication of a notice dated May 29, 2019. I had already submitted the arrival report and never remained absent, but a case was being prepared against me by twisting the rules,” the ETO said in his appeal. Irshadullah said he was exonerated in an inquiry on September 27 last year and his services were placed at the disposal of DG Excise, but has yet to be assigned any duty and office charge till this date.

“I submitted the arrival report on October 20, 2018 via registry post number 1265-38. Despite arrival, I was neither assigned any office nor provided staff, keeping me waiting in verandas and parking area till this date. I also inquired about any attendance sheet but was informed that no such register is available for gazetted officers, which is not my fault. Till this date, I was not assigned any duty which is also not my mistake but shows the administrative failure of the department,” stated the letter by the ETO.

According to the written appeal, an order issued on February 22, 2019 directed him to draw salary against the office of director Peshawar region which itself implied admission on the part of the bosses that he isn’t absent from duty.

“I reserve the right to move the court of law,” the ETO stated in the appeal, the copies of which were also sent to the offices of the chief minister and chief secretary of the province. A spokesman for the office of DG Excise and Taxation where Irshadullah is posted did not comment on the issue when approached by The News.

“Irshadullah is a grade-18 officer and such actions fall in the domain of the secretary and the DG has nothing to do with it,” replied the spokesman for the DG Excise and Taxation. Another official said actions were taken under the rules and no injustice was done in the process.

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