The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), disregarding the austerity measures taken by the prime minister, intended to use a foreign loan intended for an outdated information technology system to upgrade 155 luxury cars at a cost of approximately Rs1.6 billion.
According to official papers, the estimated cost of Rs1.63 billion for the purchase of vehicles is equal to 8.6% of the monies that the FBR had acquired for the replacement of its outdated technology and software. The most visible aspect of the proposal is that these autos will be acquired with a World Bank loan for the benefit of taxpayers.
According to information, the FBR has filed paperwork to the Ministry of Planning for the $400 million Pakistan Raises Revenue project’s Investment Project Financing (IPF) component, which is worth Rs19.6 billion.
A closer look at these records showed that the FBR plans to purchase 155 vehicles with engines ranging from 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc, which the FBR itself has referred to as “luxury” and subject to high taxes. In the records, the FBR has not specified the vehicle’s manufacturer.
The details showed that the vehicles will be distributed among all the field formations. The maximum number of vehicles, nine each, are planned to be given to the regional tax offices situated in Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
The reason, however, does not justify the purchase of 155 luxury vehicles. In its technical appraiser, the planning ministry has also raised objections to the FBR’s move to buy these vehicles.