Corona targets FBR, collection to take a hit

RTO-Quetta has been closed after around 20 of its officials were tested positive for coronavirus

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which has been struggling to achieve the revenue target for FY20, is now faced with a new problem, as the department has observed positive cases of COVID-19 in different formations.

According to sources, the Regional Tax Office (RTO)-Quetta has been closed after around 20 of its officials were tested positive for coronavirus.

In addition, sources said that the revenue board has also decided to conduct tests of officials working at the Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU), Karachi.

“A ban will remain imposed on any outsider entering LTU Karachi till the completion of the test reports,” said an insider. “LTU Karachi annually collects around Rs1 trillion in taxes, but owing to COVID-19 outbreak, the collection would surely be affected in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, the FBR has estimated that April’s collection target would be missed by Rs200 billion.

The tax department had collected Rs3,050 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

The International Monetary Fund had also lowered its projection for revenue collection in Pakistan, from Rs4,803 billion to Rs3,908 billion.

The government had set Rs5.55 trillion tax target for the current year. However, this has been revised downwards three times in the first three quarters.

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