• By Muhammad Umair Zeb, Finance and Tax Expert

The Islamabad High Court recently intervened to halt the caretaker government’s plans to overhaul the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The move followed a petition from an FBR officer challenging the caretaker government’s authority under the Election Act 2017 to implement significant changes.

The petitioner argued that caretaker administrations are limited to carrying out routine tasks and are not authorized to undertake major policy reforms that could influence the policies of future elected governments.

The court’s intervention has put a stop to the formation of the “Implementation and Asset Distribution Committee,” which was set to spearhead the FBR’s restructuring under the leadership of Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.

This decision has sparked debates, with supporters commending the court’s commitment to upholding constitutional limitations on caretaker governments. However, concerns linger about potential delays in essential reforms aimed at enhancing the FBR’s efficiency.

While the caretaker government has yet to issue a public response to the court’s decision, it is expected that efforts will be made to challenge the suspension or explore alternative avenues for reform.

This development adds complexity to Pakistan’s political landscape, particularly with the upcoming general elections. The judiciary’s intervention underscores the delicate balance between governance and legal oversight in the country’s evolving political dynamics.

  • Muhammad Umair Zeb is KP-based freelance journalist, columnist (The Khyber Mail, The News Int, Business Recorder, The Frontier Post) & Finance and Tax Analyst.

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