Pakistan: Unable to make ends meet, tax official seeks Shehbaz Sharif's permission for corruption
A letter, addressed to the Pakistani prime minister, is circulating on social media in which one 'FBR officer' said that he is planning and fully convinced that he must engage in corruption, so that he can earn more money to fulfill his basic needs
Islamabad: Unable to make ends meet, a senior tax official in Pakistan sought Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s permission to formally start getting involved in corrupt activities in order to meet his unavoidable expenditures.
According to local media reports, a letter, addressed to the Pakistani prime minister, is circulating on social media in which one “IRS officer” stated that he is planning and fully convinced that he must engage in corruption, so that he can earn more money to fulfill his basic needs.
The unconfirmed letter with the subject “formal intimation regarding starting corruption”, noted that the official shall start doing so starting April 1.
“I am very much aware of the perilous economic situation of our beloved country right now and that your government (Sharif government) is not leaving any stone unturned to stabilize the economy,” the letter read.
‘Left with no other option’
In the letter, the tax official reportedly claimed that during his four-year tenure he never got involved in corruption, “but owing to current high inflation and no compensation from government to lessen my situation, I am honestly left with no option but to look for illicit means to be able to make my ends meet, no matter how much I may not agree with this in principle.”
The government official stated that he gets PKR 122,922 salary per month, which also includes PKR 35,898 house hiring. “My unavoidable expenditures are PKR 110,500 per month,” the IRS officer mentioned in his letter to the Pakistani PM.
Amid the severe economic crisis situation in the country, the government official stated that he is in debt of more than PKR 78,000, and is forced to take money from his father every month to survive as “safaid posh CSP Officer”.
The letter also mentioned that the Pakistan’s PM office announced executive allowance in the month of February 2023 to all the groups, however, the only exception made was Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
“I have not been able to perform my duties to the best of my ability because of the simple and plain reason that I am preoccupied with financial stress and also, I have been more interested in setting up a side business or a passive income option,” the tax official wrote.
FBR seeks help
The government official has requested Shehbaz Sharif to help FBR monetarily so that the agency could perform to meet the budgetary targets.
If this is done, then the government officials will also be able to “work with more vigor and ownership to help your government stabilize the economy and bring this country out of the shackles of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the likes.”
Also, the tax official, in his letter to the Pakistani prime minister, requested to de-freeze “performance allowance FBR” as per current basis or grant “Executive Allowance” to the government agency and its field formations just as the same is granted to all other departments, reports said.
According to ARY News, the officer further mentioned that the salaries are comparatively high in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other institutions. On the other hand, young officers of the FBR are not getting any perks and privileges, while the performance-linked bonus is also sized from 2015.
(With inputs from agencies)
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