Dar’s trusted aide appointed FBR chief

ISLAMABAD: Amid Panama Papers controversy, the government on Monday appointed a trusted aide to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and notified over 10 per cent increase in the net salaries, pensions and allowances of the civil and armed forces personnel.

Mr Dar’s Special Assistant Mr Tariq Mahmood Pasha, a grade-22 officer, was appointed FBR chairman with additional charge of revenue division secretary with immediate effect. Mr Pasha was also holding the charge of economic affairs division (EAD) secretary, also under the finance minister, since February this year.

A senior official said the charge of EAD secretary had been withdrawn from Mr Pasha, but it was still undecided if he would continue as special assistance to the finance minister. As special assistant to the minister, Mr Pasha also held additional charge of secretary statistics division — another division under the portfolio of minister for finance, revenue, statistics, economic affairs and privatisation.

He belonged to the Inland Revenue Service, but switched to the secretariat group after he joined the ministry of finance when the PML-N government came to power and was promoted to grade-22 early this year. The Establishment Division has issued a formal notification for his posting as chairman of FBR/secretary revenue division.

Over 10pc increase in salaries of
civil, armed forces personnel notified

Through a separate order, the government also notified a 10pc increase in net pension to all employees of the federal government, including civilians paid from Defence Estimates and retired personnel of the armed forces and civil armed forces. The notification explained that net pension would mean pension being drawn minus the medical allowance.

Under yet another notification, the government announced revision in basic pay scales and allowances of civil servants of the federal government along with 10pc ad-hoc relief allowance after merger of earlier ad-hoc allowances of 50pc and 10pc in the salaries.

The Basic Pay Scales-2017 would be effective from July 1, 2017, and replace BPS-2016. The notification said the basic pay of employees in service on June 30, 2017, would be fixed in the new scales on point to point basis i.e. at the stage corresponding to that occupied above the minimum of BPS-2016.

In cases of promotion from a lower to higher posts or scales before introduction of new scales, the pay of employees concerned in the revised scales would be fixed and so enhanced that it would not be less than the pay that would have been admissible to such personnel if promotion to higher post or scale had taken place after the introduction of new scales (BPS-2017).

After merger of 50pc ad-hoc allowance granted by the PPP government in 2011 and another 10pc ad-hoc allowance, the government has notified an ad-hoc relief allowance 2017 at the rate of 10pc of the running basic pay of BPS-2017 to the civil employees of the federal government as well as civilians paid out of defence estimates including contingent paid staff and contract employees.

The notification said the ad-hoc relief allowance will be subject to income tax, admissible during leave and entire period of last pay before retirement. This would, however, be not allowed to employees on extraordinary leave or to employees during the tenure of their postings abroad. The ad-hoc relief would also not be treated as part of emoluments for the purpose of calculation of pension, gratuity and recovery of house rent.

As a result of revisions in pay scales, the maximum basic pay of all the government employees and officers would cumulatively increase by more than 20pc.

The government also increased the outstation rates of daily allowance (DA) from Rs310-500 per day to Rs496-800 for grade 1 to 4 employees. These rates for grade 5-11 were increased from Rs390-550 to Rs624-880. Likewise, the DA rates for grade 12-16 and up to grade 22 were also increased by 60pc with immediate effect.

Likewise, the government increased orderly allowance from Rs12,000 per month to Rs14,000 per month. It also increased the financial assistance of government servants from Rs5,000 to Rs15,000 for their burial at a local station, while the charges for wooden boxes of the dead bodies was raised from Rs1,600 to Rs4,800.