ISLAMABAD: With positive growth in revenue collection, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has surpassed its collection target for the first two months (July and August) of the financial year 2020-21 (FY21), as the board collected Rs593 billion during the period under review against the target of Rs551 billion.
According to official data shared by FBR, the revenue collection during the first two months of the previous fiscal (FY20) was Rs582 billion, which is Rs11 billion less than this year.
“To address the hardships caused to the business community by Covid-19, refunds to the tune of Rs30.6 billion have been disbursed collectively in the first two months of FY21, as compared to Rs11 billion during the same period of last year,” the board stated. “Sales tax refunds are being issued under a centralised and automated system called FASTER, which is clearing refunds to exporters within 72 hours, as committed by the government.”
The FBR claimed that it also engaged with trade and industry to mitigate their genuine grievances. “As part of this initiative, the board launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption, dismissing and suspending 76 officers and officials since July 2020.”
In post-Covid scenario, the FBR stated, economic activities are now being revived through multiple economic stimuli and reliefs granted in the budget FY21. Hectic efforts were put up by Customs field formations in respect of collection of duty and taxes which was otherwise a daunting task owing to post Covid economic constraints, Muharram holidays and heavy rainfall in Karachi, which is the epicentre of the country’s revenue collection.
As per the FBR figures, total customs duty during the first two months FY21 stood at Rs92 billion. The FBR explained that sales tax collection at the import stage remained on the lower side as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year due to heavy rainfall in Karachi. Furthermore, the exemption granted in respect of Additional Customs Duty (ACD) on more than 1,600 tariff lines in budget FY21 also subsequently resulted in a decrease in sales taxable value.
In line with the vision and directives of the prime minister to curb the menace of smuggling, the FBR vigorously launched a countrywide counter-smuggling drive. The board accordingly directed its field formations to make all-out efforts to intensify anti-smuggling activities.
In pursuance of the aforesaid directions, Pakistan Customs initiated massive anti-smuggling operations throughout the country and across all terrains that have led to significant seizures of smuggled goods.
During the month of August 2020 alone, customs seized smuggled goods worth Rs3.95 billion as compared to Rs2.1 billion in August 2019, thus showing an increase of 87.3pc. These seized goods included fabrics, cigarettes, foreign currency, POL products, auto parts, foodstuff, narcotics and other miscellaneous goods.