Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi on Tuesday rejected speculation about his resignation, saying he had been unable to perform his duties recently due to ill health.
“I have not resigned from my post as chairman FBR. I have just not been able to perform my duties due to ill health,” Zaidi told Geo News.
He, however, told The News that he has informed the prime minister that “he may not be able to continue.”
Responding to the reports, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in a statement said the FBR chairman was unwell and on a long vacation. “If Shabbar Zaidi does not recover then we will look for a replacement. His return would be determined by the doctor.”
He noted that the new chairman would be appointed with Zaidi’s consultation. “He is my favourite.”
Earlier this month, Shaikh in an interview with Aaj TV, had stated that the government may change the FBR chairman if he does not recover soon as the government plans to introduce a mini-budget (which has to be signed off on by the tax chief).
Speculations had been rife about Zaidi’s resignation after it was reported that he was on an indefinite leave from official duties on grounds of ill health.
Zaidi had gone on sick leave from January 6 to January 19. This had led to rumours that there was a rift in the government’s economic team.
However, those rumours were rejected by the FBR. “Rumors of any sort of rift in the economic team is utterly incorrect,” the FBR had said in a statement.