Govt revenue receipts far off its lofty target

July-Nov tax-revenue collection Tk 95b short of the mark

Doulot Akter Mala | Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Government revenue receipts remain far off an 'ambitious' target set for the current financial year (FY) as the collection in July-November period missed the mark by Tk 95 billion.
By official count, the tax-revenue collection in the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2017-18, however, marked a 17 percent growth over that of the corresponding period of the last FY.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) collectors mobilised Tk 745.16 billion in taxes in July-November period of the FY 2017-18 against its target of Tk 840.66 billion, according to provisional statistics.
All of the three wings of the NBR missed their respective revenue-collection targets in the period as they are chasing a "highly ambitious" target in the present economic context, investment and implementation of Annual Development Programme (ADP), officials said.
The aggregate revenue-collection target has been set at Tk 2.48 trillion for the current financial year, expecting a robust 34 percent growth over the previous FY's collection of Tk 1.85 trillion.
Average tax-revenue-collection growth was 14.28 per cent in the last five years, according to NBR data.
The VAT wing netted the highest amount of revenue worth Tk 282.77 billion despite deferment of the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 from the set execution timeline, July 1, 2017.
However, the wing also shares the highest amount of Tk 45 billion in the revenue shortfall in the period -- almost half the aggregate deficit.
Import-revenue collection by the customs wing posted the highest, 22 per cent, growth in that period, primarily due to a sudden rise in dollar price against the local-currency taka.
The Customs collected Tk 245.92 billion in the first five months, close to its target of Tk 260.94 billion.
Income tax marked a 15.60 percent growth with a collection of Tk 216.45 billion in the July-November period.
Talking to the FE Tuesday, a senior official of the NBR said last quarter of an FY is the peak time for revenue collection as government development works get into high gear at the fag-end of the fiscal.
"The NBR expects to meet the revenue-collection target by end of the FY," he said.
The revenue board has declared the month of December as 'compliance month' to intensify its effort for realisation of arrears and settling legal disputes that blocked large amounts of revenue.
He expects the aggregate shortfall to be made up through realising the outstanding amounts of taxes from Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), Titas gas, Petrobangla and other entities.
Another tax official, however, notices the gap between revenue collection and its target widening every month. In July-October, the shortfall was Tk 65.61 billion while it was Tk 33.55 billion in the July-September period.
He said the NBR instructed its field offices that missed targets to intensify efforts for revenue collection through investigation and realising the dues through motivation.

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