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Govt to Relax PPRA Rules for Purchasing IT Equipment for FBR Data Center

The federal government is likely to declare operational emergency for purchasing Information Technology (IT)  equipment to upgrade the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data center.

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Sources told ProPakistani that the federal cabinet will also deliberate on the Revenue Division summary regarding the declaration of operational emergency in terms of the Public Procurement Rules, 2004. Former Chairman FBR Asim Ahmed, being principal accounting officer of the Revenue Division, has already declared an operational emergency for the procurement of IT equipment. Now the Revenue Division has requested the cabinet to endorse the Revenue Division decision.

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The government will amend the PPRA rules and allow FBR to purchase IT equipment without a tendering process for the upgradation of its data center.

FBR requested the government to amend the rules after a cyber attack on the data center on August 14, 2021. Sources said that FBR wanted to build a parallel system in order to avoid data hacking in the future, so the FBR  authorities proposed a request to the government to amend the rules.

Sources said the cabinet will also deliberate on the ‘Grant of 10% adhoc relief allowance on basic pay to the members of Parliament and Chairman/Speaker as well as the deputy chairman/deputy speaker’.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan, after the approval of the budget 2021-22, rejected the proposal of the Cabinet Division with regard to increasing pay as well as allowances of the cabinet members.

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The Cabinet Division had proposed an increase in the pay and allowances of the Federal Ministries, Advisors, and Special Assistants to the Prime Minister. The cabinet will also take up the Commerce Minister’s summary on the reduction of additional customs duties for vendors under SRO 655(1)/2006 and on heavy commercial vehicles.

The Ministry of Finance will also present its report on the remuneration of the Chairman and members of 20 regulatory authorities. Sources said that the cabinet will discuss the revenue division’s waiver of panel surcharge along with other agenda items.

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