FBR to witness another month of alarming shortfall in revenue

Revenue board likely to miss August target by around Rs97bn

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is going to witness another month of major shortfall, as the board only managed to collect around Rs241 billion so far in August 2019, against the monthly target of Rs357.3 billion.

Keeping in view the track record of revenue collection in the first 29 days of August, the FBR may collect around Rs260 billion by the end of the month, a shortfall of around Rs97 billion.

If the same trend continues, the board could also miss the first-quarter (Jul-Sept FY20) target by over Rs200 billion.

FBR had set a revenue target of Rs1,072 billion for the first quarter of FY20.

As per the provisional tax collection figures for August 2019, the FBR collected Rs58 billion through direct taxes and Rs123 billion under the head of sales tax. Besides, the board collected over Rs15 billion through Federal Excise Duty and over Rs45 billion from customs duty, taking the total tax collection figure to Rs241 billion.

In August 2018, the FBR had collected Rs255 billion.

In case the FBR misses the target for the first quarter, it would require Rs1.5 trillion in each of the remaining quarters in order to meet the overall target of Rs5.5 trillion set for this fiscal year.

According to sources, the board may end up in a difficult position, as it is continuous missing the early targets despite introduction of amnesty schemes and awareness campaigns.

In the first month of this financial year (July-FY20), the FBR had provisionally collected Rs277 billion against the desired target of Rs292 billion, witnessing a shortfall of Rs15 billion. The board had collected Rs251 billion in the same month last year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) may ask Pakistan to introduce a mini-budget if tax collection shortfall widens in the first quarter of this fiscal year, sources said, adding that the fund would review the economic situation of Pakistan, including tax collection, in the first review of the $6.2 billion loan programme, scheduled to be held in November or December this year.

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Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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