Curbs on NBR chief's power
In an unprecedented letter, Finance Minister AMA Muhith has restricted the chairman of National Board of Revenue from making any important decision, as he did not comply with the minister's recommendation.
“He [NBR chairman] is going to be transferred very soon. He will not be able to make any important decision during the time,” said the letter sent to NBR Chairman Nasiruddin Ahmed on August 5.
The copies of the letter have also been forwarded to HT Imam, prime minister's advisor on public administration; Abdus Sobhan Sikder, senior secretary of the public administration ministry; and NBR member (VAT policy) Md Farid Uddin.
In the letter, Muhith said the NBR chairman on Thursday made some transfers at the commissioner level. The minister said he had earlier told the chairman not to take any step in this regard.
“I only gave him the authority to change the board members, not the existing work setup,” the letter stated.
“I personally asked the NBR chairman to cancel the postings,” read the letter.
A high NBR official, however, said approval from the finance minister was not required in case of transfer at the commissioner level. But the finance minister's letter expressing dissatisfaction over not carrying out his verbal order was an unprecedented incident, the official added.
Other NBR officials said some officials always lobby for the rewarding posts in the customs while the existing officials do not want to be transferred from there.
A high NBR official said the finance minister might have been displeased with the NBR chairman due to the pressure of lobbying for such posts.