Revenue returns to positive trajectory


Despite all-engulfing effect of the coronavirus pandemic, the government's revenue collection has rebounded and witnessed a positive growth after seven months as imports increased during July- September this year.

Experts said import and revenue collection are going up by overcoming the stress of corona.

It is a good sign in industrial production, mega projects with various infrastructure development projects and economic development of the country, they said adding that, it is having a positive impact on the economy.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) officials said the NBR has collected more tariff that exceeded expectations due to higher imports during the crisis.

According to NBR sources, the NBR has collected to Tk48,017 crore from customs, VAT, and income tax during July-September 2020, up 0.67 percent over the same period of previous year.

This figure was Tk47,688 crore in the same period of previous year.

The revenue collection increased by 1.55 percent in September alone.

The income tax sector went up by 4.92 percent to Tk15,373 crore in the first quarter in the fiscal year 2020-21 while the customs duties on imported and exported goods increased by 6.4 percent in the first three months of the current fiscal year.

However, revenue collection from the VAT sector decreased by 7.7 percent during the time.

The NBR was given a revenue target of Tk330,000 crore in the current fiscal with a growth target of almost 33 percent compared to the last year. 

Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute, said the revenue collection has recently increased as the imports of many essential products have witnessed a rising trend during Coronavirus crisis.

On the other hand, the global economy is rebounding, that is why the country’s exports increased in the last two months, which helped increase the customs duties on imported and exported goods, he added.

Dr Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank, told The Bangladesh Post that, “The country’s economy is recovering as the exports and imports are showing positive trend for the several months. It is a good sign for the country.”

The revenue collection has mainly increased due to the custom duties on higher imports as well as higher income taxes, he mentioned.

Hussain said, “The revenue collection from VAT is still showing a negative trend. As a result, the NBR still lags behind the revenue collection target.” 

He urged the government to ensure the financial supports for small entrepreneurs from stimulus packages as they are still facing different problems due to fund shortages.

On the other hand, the government should reduce irregularities on different regulators to ensure business friendly environment, he added.

He emphasized on implementing automation in every part of the process to collect revenue including submission, filing and payment system to ensure transparency which will help raise revenue collection, he mentioned.