FBR misses first-quarter target by over Rs120bn

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has missed the first-quarter revenue collection target for the financial year 2019-20 by over Rs120 billion.

According to sources, the FBR collection for the first three months of FY20 stood at Rs950 billion, as against the downwardly-adjusted target of Rs1.071 trillion.

The total revenue in September 2019 was Rs373 billion, as against the collection target of Rs423 billion.

The FBR had provisionally collected Rs577 billion in the first two months (July and August) of FY20 against the target of Rs644 billion, reflecting a shortfall of Rs67 billion.

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Therefore, the department was required to collect a mammoth Rs494 billion in the month of September in order to meet the International Monetary Fund’s target of Rs1.071 trillion. However, the board could only collect Rs373 billion in the month, taking the total provisional revenue collection to Rs950 billion.

“The revenue target of the first quarter was being missed by over Rs120 billion despite the introduction of various revenue and administrative measures in the last budget,” sources said.

In contrast to the FBR claims regarding collection figures of September, the collection during the first 28 days of the month, shared by the finance ministry, was Rs283.17 billion, which included Rs89.3 billion from direct taxes, Rs117 billion from sales tax, Rs18.8 billion from federal excise duty and Rs49.2 billion from customs.

As per the average collection of the month, the total revenue could be Rs303 billion. However, according to sources, the figures shared by the finance ministry are based on transactions.

“FBR considers the revenue in the pipeline, commitments etc. to set the total revenue of a month. The reconciliation of figures by both FBR and State Bank of Pakistan has always been an issue,” they added.

As per sources, since the broadening of tax base (BTB) department has been merged with another department, the revenue collection may be affected in the coming months. “Besides, the issue related to the condition of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) also stands unresolved.”

Meanwhile, they said, the trading/business community has threatened to hold protest/long march on Islamabad from October 7, 2019.

Under the present situation, sources added, it would be almost impossible for the FBR to meet the ambitious target of Rs5.5 trillion in the financial year 2019-20, they added.

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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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