ISLAMABAD: The addition of new conditions in the guidelines for performance allowance 2015 has sparked a new debate among the officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
In the beginning of the current month, Admin Chief Muhammad Iqbal Khan released new guidelines for performance allowance. The performance allowance is equal to one month’s basic pay.
Previously, the FBR Human Resource Management (HRM) wing issued guidelines regarding performance allowance in 2012 instead of the FBR Admin wing. Presently, the HRM wing is being led by Khawaja Tanveer Ahmad.
A majority of FBR officials seem to be criticising some of criteria and standards prescribed in Section 7 titled ‘De-Notification of Performance Allowance’ and this clause has become a hot topic among officials at the FBR Headquarters.
The De-Notification of Performance Allowance carries eight conditions and criterions for grant of performance allowance of officials: forced leave, minor penalty, major penalty, unauthorised absence, late attendance, substandard performance/conduct, non-filing of annual declaration of assets and liabilities, and non-filing of income tax returns.
Several officials seeking anonymity expressed their reservations over some of these conditions. Late attendance, non-filing of annual declaration of assets and liabilities, non-filing of income tax returns as well as taking control of performance allowance by the Admin wing from the HRM wing are core matters of concern for the officials.
The HRM wing had been monitoring the matters pertaining to the grant of performance allowance to officials since long but this time a circular in this connection has been issued by the Admin wing.
The officials see significant and explicit reason for this shift of responsibilities from the HRM wing to the Admin wing, because the HRM wing has all the required paraphernalia for the said purpose.
Moreover, FBR authorities also issued not a single word to explain the reason in this regard.
Moreover, on the issue of conditions regarding late attendance, officials are of the viewpoint that a majority of them have to remain present at offices late at night, therefore, this conditions was more than injustice because if they have to be in field for late hours then they must be given a little bit relaxation from early arrivals at offices.
This condition says that on formal report of late attendance by the supervisory officer, the employee attending office late without prior permission will lose his performance allowance equal to the number of days of late attendance (besides disciplinary proceedings under the E&A rules) to be approved by the authorities as mentioned in Para 7 (iv).
Furthermore, about the condition of non-filing of income tax, officials are of the view that this condition is not as per rules and regulations being implemented in other government ministries and departments. Thus, it is a discriminatory one merely for the officials of the FBR.
The relevant conditions describe that the employees liable to file their income tax returns under Section 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, but fail to do so on the due date each year, shall be de-notified for performance allowance for a period of three months or filling of income tax return for the year, whichever is later.
Furthermore, performance allowance is also granted to officials in other departments and ministries, but the condition of submission of annual declaration of assets and liabilities is not imposed anywhere in other departments.