It is a well known fact that foreign aid, granted and channeled through the IMF, World Bank, USAID and similar organizations, comes with strings attached. A huge portion of such loans goes back to donor countries in form of remuneration for various consulting and support services provided by companies and firms, commonly known as the Corporatocracy.
The News reported about Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) hiring 89 foreign consultants of IMF, each paid $30,000 per month (Rs2.41 million). Consultancy cost might go up as two foreign consultants already working at the FBR since January 2007 have been given extension after they were paid Rs40 million by March 2009. The consultancy fee is expected to increase by Rs20 million.
The inability of these consultants to give positive results was first discussed in whispers by the senior FBR staff but later a female executive mustered the courage to raise voice and sent a letter dated April 23 to the chief of FBR’s Tax Policy and Reforms Wing as well as its chairman. The letter discussed contract agreement of Hugo Hanisch, Programme Manager and Obed Santisteban, Tax Intelligence Consultant, who were given extension up to December 2009. However, the complainant lady has now been quietly transferred to Lahore.
On one hand, government of Pakistan is complaining about shortage of funds, deducting from development expenditure to meet expenses and on the other offering exorbitant salaries to foreign consultants. Such high salaries are not even offered to top-notch executives in the US.