Sindh to approach high court against FBR for Rs7bn refund

Dawn

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to approach the high court against the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for a refund of over Rs7 billion deducted at source from the provincial consolidated fund (PCF) during 2012, 2015 and 2016.

This decision was taken by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during a meeting held on Monday at the New Sindh Secretariat regarding recovery of “unconstitutional and unauthorised deduction” by the FBR.

The chief minister said that he also had taken up the matter in a meeting of the Council of Common Interests in September 2018, but no appropriate decision was taken to refund the amount.

“We will fight this case in court as the FBR and the federal government have no intention to refund the amount. But I’ll get these funds back because they belong to the people of Sindh and they are meant for Sindh’s uplift,” he said.

CM orders initiation of process to fill 41,000 govt vacancies

He said he would also write a letter to the prime minister against this “injustice” and would urge him to issue necessary directives for the refund.

Earlier, Excise and Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla briefed the CM that his department had been agitating at various levels against the “unilateral, unjustified, unconstitutional and unauthorised deduction” by the FBR from the PCF and despite a series of meetings no concrete steps were taken to refund the amount.

He further said that they had filed seven appeals; one of them was pending with the FBR’s deputy director while another was pending in the Inland Revenue Tribunal of the FBR.

The CM asked the finance department to work out the interest on the amount deducted by the FBR from 2013 so that it could also be claimed.

41,000 govt jobs

Chairing another meeting, the chief minister directed all provincial departments to initiate the process for recruitment of 41,000 employees from grade one to grade 15 against existing vacancies on merit and through a transparent procedure.

“I want to fill all these vacancies to improve performance of the different departments and provide employment opportunities to the deserving and eligible candidates,” he said.

Mr Shah said that the recruitment of grade-1 to grade-4 would be made on a local level through selection committees in which government representatives would be inducted

while from grade-5 to grade-15 recruitments would be made through testing service/third party so that merit could be maintained.

He also directed the provincial secretaries to ensure the women and differently-abled person quota in the new recruitment.

The chief minister also asked Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah to start recruitment of teachers through a separate process ensuring that teachers must be school-specific so that shortage of teachers can be met.

Teachers’ posts are not part of the 41,000 vacancies.

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho pointed out shortage of doctors and said that a requisition of 1,700 doctors had been made to the Sindh Public Service Commission for selection.

The chief minister said that doctors could be appointed on a hospital-specific basis through walk-in interview on contract. “After six months they would be referred to the SPSC for their suitability,” he said.

Visit to the city

The chief minister also paid a surprise visit to different city areas. He was accompanied by Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani and Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab.

The CM went to Shahrah-i-Quaideen, Tariq Road, Khalid bin Waleed Road, Shaheed-i-Millat Road, Khudadad Colony and Saddar.

He expressed his displeasure over parking of vehicles on roads by showroom owners.

During the visit to Shahrah-i-Quaideen he got off from the vehicle and called DIG traffic and Karachi commissioner there and showed them that the owners of car showrooms grabbed the main road and service lane by parking their vehicles.

“These roads are important in terms of traffic flow; how dare they park their vehicles on them,” he asked.

He said he had been giving directives to the traffic police and the commissioner for removal of such vehicles from main roads and service lanes, but it appeared that all his directives had been falling on deaf ears.

He took the DIG traffic to Khalid bin Waleed Road, Tariq Road and Saddar and showed him all vehicles put on display by showroom owners on main roads and service lanes.

He directed him to start an operation from today and submit a report to him.

Mr Shah also directed the commissioner to call all municipal commissioners and direct them to ensure proper cleaning of their areas.

“Garbage is lying along the roads and the district municipal corporations seem to be sleeping,” he said.

The CM also visited two underpasses being constructed on Shahrah-i-Quaideen near Tariq Road and Khalid bin Waleed Road interchanges.

He reviewed the progress and quality of the work and directed the project director to ensure completion of the work by the end of June.

The chief minister during his visit to Saddar inspected the work being carried out at Empress Market for building a compound wall. He also issued directives for maintaining a proper and smooth flow of traffic in Saddar.

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