ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Member Information Technology (IT) Raana Ahmed declared that she had taken on the challenge of overhauling and rejuvenating the PRAL as its poor performance had rendered the board’s IT Wing virtually ‘inoperative.’
“The most important and imperative fact which cannot be ignored is that PRAL has not been performing up to the mark and many things go unnoticed which has adversely affected the overall performance of the FBR IT Wing,” she added.
In an exclusive interview with Customs Today, Raana Ahmed who also holds additional charge of the office of PRAL CEO claimed, “We have found out mismanagement and have been continuously receiving complaints against PRAL.” The FBR member IT stated that the most effected were the FTO, tax bars and chambers of commerce who were sending complaints against the mismanagement in PRAL.
She revealed that it was her very self who had taken notice of reports regarding mismanagement and poor performance of the PRAL and brought it into the notice of the authorities concerned, adding that the board took prompt decision in this regard which reflected the FBR Chairman commitment and sagacity to transform the board into a vibrant organisation. “Look the major problems in PRAL are related to financial and technical management as some ‘specific’ elements are getting benefits by blending things together which should be eradicated,” Raana Ahmed elaborated.
The PRAL CEO detailed that unnecessary expenditures had been curtailed, entertainment allowances strictly banned and delivery of surplus newspapers had been stopped. She pointed out that there was no check on overtime dues as to whether or not people claiming such dues had actually done overtime, adding that now an effective mechanism had been evolved to check any such malpractice. She maintained that another obsession observed was that there was misuse of telephones despite the fact that PRAL always had lacked communication with other departments.
“We expect to control all unnecessary expenditures in PRAL by the end of the current year,” she pledged. Raana Ahmed described that they were ambitious for planning and developing a data warehouse to make a business system development. “With the help of this plan we will be able to add larger business communities like utility stores, banks and use their data to analyse tax evasion and risk management in running businesses,” she revealed. She emphasised that the FBR IT wing needed ambitious, energetic and self-motivated staff to cater to the needs of FBR, adding that the ban on hiring in FBR had been left to rope in talented and educated persons.
To a question, Raana Ahmed said that though one custom system had been replaced with modern WeBOC system, it still prevailed due to lack of modules in WeBOC, adding that strenuous efforts were being made to manage WeBOC and make up for the shortcomings.
She said that the basic role of IT Wing was to be a bridge between the business users (FBR) and IT (PRAL) and it would deal with the problems arising in this regard in befitting manner.
Raana Ahmed declared that it was a prerequisite that there should be a team comprising skilled worker, having sufficient knowledge of business user and IT so that problems arising due to language and interpretations could be sort out head-on. “Basically there are two things that to be understood – making proposals and its execution – and the IT Wing is striving for both,” the FBR IT Wing head stressed. She said that PRAL alone had made 37 stand alone modules and unnecessary and large manpower was used for this purpose with low results.
“We are striving to make things in line with proper account and focusing on two things – a fair policy and its implementation,” she maintained. She asserted that there were two systems – the internal and external – the latter had business user and the IT wing coordinated with a large number of business users. “There was worst mismanagement and a large number of taxpayers were affected by the PRAL. The main problem which the taxpayers had to face was at the time of registration as they would get registered at one place but not the other,” Raana Ahmed detailed, adding that the data should be kept at one place to make possible easy and fast excess.
The PRAL CEO informed that the IT Wing consisted of two chiefs, two secretaries, three second secretaries along with one member IT. “We have made a business domain team collectively and trying to enforce our policies but we are facing problems due to lack of cooperation and feedback from PRAL to standardized and normalized certain functions,” the FBR IT member averred, adding that automation and software development were the major roles of the IT Department. “I am glad to having a robust, dynamic and proactive IT team with good knowledge. We want to go an extra mile to bring turnaround in the taxation system for the good of the country,” she boasted.