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Govt Notices Rise in Tax Collection but it still Falls Short of Target

06/02/2017

Govt Notices Rise in Tax Collection but it still Falls Short of Target

As per the figures released by the government, it is learnt that the tax collection rose to 7% to almost Rs1.7 trillion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year but despite the huge numbers, it is true that it still stood significantly below the target. The loss is adding more to the fiscal woes of the government that is already in the hot waters due to drying up of Coalition Support Fund.

It is learnt that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has provisionally collected Rs1.69 trillion in July to January 2016-2017, falling short of the target by around Rs140 billion. The FBR officials have been assigned to collect Rs1.83 trillion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.

The government has set the annual tax target at Rs3.621 trillion, which is 16% higher than the revenue receipts in the previous fiscal year. However, the FBR higher officials had already declared the goal unrealistic, stating that the government has set the target without taking the revenue body on board.

If we talk about the collection in term of growth, the July-January tax collection was almost 7 percent higher than the comparative period of the previous year, when the FBR received Rs1.586 trillion. It needs a 16% growth to achieve the annual target. Tax authorities have already put the blame on federal government officials for the revenue shortfall, saying the changes in tax policies at the time of annual budget and during the course of the year have adversely affected the revenue collection drive.

The FBR officials have also blamed the government for not increasing price of petroleum products, which has also adversely affected the sales tax collection. Resultantly, the government has started increasing the price of petroleum products on fortnightly basis to make up for some of the loss, it has sustained so far.

It is notable that government has generated Rs676 billion from the sale of petroleum products on account of sales tax, federal excise duty and petroleum levy. And currently, the government has collected Rs575.8 billion from the sale of petroleum products in the current fiscal year.