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AJK’s inland revenue dept head seldom seen in office

AJK’s inland revenue dept head  seldom seen in office

MUZAFFARABAD: The head of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Department of Inland Revenue has attended his office in Muzaffarabad only twice after assuming this position on deputation basis in June last year.

The services of Mohammad Waseem Altaf, a BPS-19 officer of the Inland Revenue Service of Pakistan, were placed at the disposal of the AJK Council on June 13, 2014, following which he was appointed as Commissioner Inland Revenue, a BPS-20 post, as well as head of the AJK’s Department of Inland Revenue.

The AJK Department of Inland Revenue falls under the administrative control of the AJK Council, which is headed by the prime minister of Pakistan.

Federal Minister and Federal Secretary for Kashmir affairs happen to be the in-charge minister and in-charge secretary of the AJK Council.

After hardly a month, Mr Altaf was also given the charge of Commissioner Provincial Taxes, another BPS-20 post in the Department of Inland Revenue.

However, despite holding dual charges, Mr Altaf came to Muzaffarabad in August for the first time to have an introductory meeting with the staff based at the headquarters of his department.

Afterwards, he visited his office here for the second and so far for the last time some three months ago to chair a meeting on revenue targets, sources in his office said.

However, on Friday last, when a similar meeting was held in the finance department, Mr Altaf did not turn up there and instead sent his special assistant, Asim Shaukat, to represent him.

It is also interesting to note that Mr Shaukat, who was inducted in 2003 as assistant collector central excise, is currently holding the charge of three posts – assistant collector (BPS-17), deputy collector (BPS-18) and additional collector (BPS-19).

When Dawn contacted Mr Altaf on telephone on Thursday evening and asked him why he had not been attending his office in Muzaffarabad, he replied: “I visit that place (Muzaffarabad) as and when it is required.”

When asked how many times he had visited Muzaffarabad over the past 11 months, he replied: “Several times.”

Mr Altaf went on to claim that he was in Muzaffarabad and while declining to answer more questions on phone invited this correspondent to see him in his office in Muzaffarabad at 10am on Friday.

However, when this correspondent visited the office of commissioner, it transpired that Mr Altaf had not been here for many months. “He is in his Mirpur office and not here,” one official said, but declined to be identified.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2015

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