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Current Affairs
First half of FY '13: NBR's revenue collection sees Tk 37.62b shortfall
Sunday, 13 January 2013
All three wings of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) missed their targets in the first half of the current fiscal year (FY 2012-13), leading to Tk 37.62 billion shortfall in revenue collection by the NBR.

Collection from Value Added Tax (VAT) got a big jolt in the July-December period as the wing concerned faced nearly Tk 30 billion shortfall alone. This was followed by customs wing with Tk 10 billion and income tax with Tk 250 million, in shortfall, according to a provisional figure of the NBR.

Officials said if the present trend of collection from VAT continues, it may cause a large domestic revenue deficit in the current fiscal.

The government set the revenue collection target for the NBR at Tk 1.12 trillion in the current fiscal. For the first half of the fiscal, revenue collection target was Tk 476.95 billion including other taxes and duties. The NBR was able to collect Tk 439.66 billion.

A senior official said the sluggish trend of import, unstable political situation and unpromising trend about domestic and foreign investment caused the shortfall in revenue collection.

He said the NBR-portion of revenue collection that accounts for most of aggregate fiscal revenues of the government, depends on economic and development activities.

Meanwhile, the expenditure that could be made in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal, out of the original allocation for the current fiscal\'s Annual Development Programme (ADP), stood at 24 per cent of the aggregate annual outlay. The spending ministries could utilise Tk 133.84 billion during the period, out of the Taka 550 billion ADP for fiscal 2012-13, the data of the ministry of planning indicated.

The aggregate value of imports also marked a 13 per cent negative growth in the first five months of the current fiscal. Imports of major revenue-generating items, including petroleum products, dropped by 11.89 per cent while those of intermediate goods declined by 13 per cent, capital machinery, by 28.02 per cent, according to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.

\"The government has targeted a 7.2 per cent GDP growth for the current fiscal which is unlikely to be achieved,\" the tax official said.

Talking to the FE, a senior VAT official said the NBR faced a massive shortfall in VAT collection from tobacco sector in the first two months of the current fiscal.

Marketing of cigarettes by some fake tobacco industries caused the shortfall as their products were sold in the market without VAT payment, he added.

\"We hope the collection will increase in the second half of the current fiscal as the NBR has taken the issue seriously,\" he said.

Revenue collections from telecom and petroleum sectors also recorded a decline in the first half of the current fiscal and such sectors are also considered the major sources of tax collections, he added.

Although the government laid emphasis on direct tax collection instead of depending on import revenue, its target from import-based duties and taxes is high. In the current fiscal, the government set the highest target for VAT as it identified a large untapped potential for it