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Ahmed Shahin

The gap between the actual revenue collection and the target continued widening as the shortfall hit Tk 280 billion in the first half (July-December) of the ongoing fiscal year, NBR sources said.
The NBR, during this period, has collected a total of Tk 980.27 billion while the projected target was Tk 1.26 trillion.
According to this count, actual revenue collection is 22.2 per cent less than the target.
NBR officials concerned said the shortfall at the year-end might reach up to Tk 500 billion.
As a result, added the officials, the newly formed government might have to face challenges to manage its budget expenditures.
However, the newly appointed finance minister A H M Mustafa Kamal immediately after taking chair vowed to make the exchequer vibrant to increase the country’s tax revenue.
To this end, the minister also emphasised taking a couple of initiatives, including setting up scanners at all ports to intercept fraudulence with export-import proceedings.
All the three tax wings of NBR witnessed substantial amount of deficiency in revenue collection during the first six months of the fiscal year, sources said.
The VAT wing, which has been determined as the top revenue collecting wing in the last national budget, registered the highest amount of shortage.
The trend has been followed respectively by the Customs and the Income Tax wings.
During this period, VAT officials could collect a total of Tk 38,453 crore against the target of Tk 50,025 crore, making a shortfall of Tk 11,572 crore, the source said.
In this connection, Tk 28,756 crore has been collected from income tax and other direct taxes, Tk 6,677 crore less against the target while Tk 30,819 has been collected from duties on the export and import procedures, also Tk 9,751 less against the projected target.
NBR, considering the election year, offered multiple incentives and exemptions to the country’s businesses and taxpayers in the last budget, which is one of the biggest reasons of this big shortfall, tax officials said.
Tax officials said, among the three wings, the customs regime was closer to the target, but due to huge exemptions this year the customs officials could not collect revenue aligned with the target.
The exchequer, during the first half, marked only 6.36 per cent rise in its overall revenue collection in comparison with the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
During the same period of FY 2017-18, the collection was Tk 92,163 crore, 14.92 per cent up in comparison with the collection during the same period of the previous year.
The revenue target, Tk 2.96 trillion, was set for NBR for the current fiscal, with estimation of an increase of 44 per cent from the actual collection, Tk 2.05 trillion, in the last fiscal.
A senior official of NBR on condition of anonymity told this correspondent that the revenue target set for them this year is quite impossible to meet as the amount is beyond NBR’s level of capacity.
He, however, claimed that the revenue earning trend would expedite in the last few months of the fiscal though it would not be enough to defend the shortfall.
He also expressed his hope that the revenue collection would be congenial to the targeted amount once the new VAT law is enacted.
The government is scheduled to enact the VAT Law-2012 within the coming July as it was deferred in June 2017 for the next two years.