Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to undertake all necessary efforts to make up the revenue shortfall compared to the target set at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
He issued these directions while chairing a meeting to review the six-month performance of the FBR for the period July-December of the Financial Year 2016-17. It is important to mention that the FBR is faced with a revenue shortfall of Rs 120 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal year.
An official source said the FBR authorities told the meeting that the major revenue loss was due to tax exemption to the agriculture sector and decrease in tax ratio on petroleum products. The tax authorities estimated Rs80 billion loss due to maintaining POL prices and Rs 40 billion due to the agriculture sector.
They warned that revenue collection would further decline due to the exemptions given to the textile sector, which they assessed was close to Rs 60 billion within next six months.
Briefing the finance minister, FBR chairman said that they collected more than Rs 1,467 billion in the first half of the financial year 2016-17 as compared to Rs 1,370 billion during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, reflecting 7 percent growth in tax revenues, compared to target revenue growth of 16 percent for the current fiscal year.
He said that revenue collection during December 2016 has been the highest amongst all the six months of the current fiscal year so far.
The finance minister while taking a notice of the fact that only 7 percent revenue growth had been achieved in the first half of the current fiscal year directed the FBR team to undertake all necessary efforts to make up the revenue shortfall to meet the target.
The meeting was also attended by Haroon Akhtar Khan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, and senior officials of the FBR and the Ministry of Finance.