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FBR Challenges Govt Writ Cancels Holiday on Saturday

Posted by on Saturday, April 28, 2012, 9:21
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FBRIn a deplorable example of continuing idiosyncrasy, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilaniรญs own departments defied Cabinet-approved orders with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issuing a notification cancelling Saturday holidays, weeks after the premier announced that all provinces would observe two-day holidays to save energy to help overcome the electricity short-fall in the country, The News learnt Friday.

Sources confided to The News that on April 2 the FBR issued a notification [No. C#1/1/SK-CH/Misc/2012] with the title: รฌNew Working Hours for the Employees of FBR.รฎ According to the above notification, the FBR announced its decision that working hours from Monday to Saturday would be from 9am to 4pm, while Friday would be a half-day from 8:30am to 12:30pm. The above said notification is available on the FBR website as well.

The above revelation is surprising, especially given that on the one hand the federal cabinet had approved a five-day working week from the federal government, with Prime Minister Gilani going so far as to ask all provincial governments to accept the decision at the recently convened Energy Conference in Lahore.

The Sindh government Friday issued a notification in this regard, and from now onwards Sindh is expected to observe a two-day holiday while Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have already accepted the decision.

What is alarming is how the Chairman FBR is making himself to appear more powerful than the federal government and the prime minister by defying official orders. If the federal governmentรญs own departments refuse to follow the official mandate, how can provincial governments be expected to toe the line? If the tradition is left unchecked, more departments are bound to have their own choice of working hours/working days, therein adversely affecting the writ of the government.

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