Revenue collections by National Board of Revenue grew only by 7 per cent in first eight months of the financial year 2018-2019, against the annual target of 43.5 per cent growth.
Income tax, value-added tax and customs wings of NBR in July-February in FY19 managed to collect Tk 1,33,460 crore, which is only 45 per cent of the annual target of Tk 2,96,201 crore.
NBR will have to collect Tk 1,62,741 crore or 55 per cent of the total target in the remaining four months of the year.
The government, however, is likely to slash the target in line with previous years’ trends.
Tax authorities collected Tk 1,24,620 crore in the first eight months of last FY18.
Though the amount of shortfall NBR faced in eight months could not be confirmed, officials said, the shortfall might cross Tk 40,000 crore following the trends in previous months.
NBR’s revenue collection fell short of target by Tk 34,425 crore in the first seven months (July-January) of FY 2019, they said.
The shortfall had been widening every month since July, the first month of the fiscal year, they added.
In July, the deficit was Tk 2,871 crore.
It widened to Tk 7,161 crore in July-August, Tk 11,430 in July-September, Tk 16,799 crore in July-October, Tk 21,973 crore in July-November and Tk 29,000 crore in July-December.
Officials said that it was evident that NBR would fail to meet the FY19 target, which was 43.50 per cent higher than the actual collection of Tk 2,06,407 crore in FY18.
Revenue collection grew by 20 per cent in FY18.
From the beginning of the current fiscal year, revenue collection has been growing very slow compared with the average annual growth of 14 per cent in the last five years.
Though NBR is yet to officially get the revised revenue collection target from the government, NBR officials were given hints that the finance ministry might reduce the target only by Tk 16,000 crore, they said.
Officials said that with the current growth rate, NBR might fail to achieve the revised target too if it was slashed by Tk 16,000 crore.
NBR has requested finance ministry to lower the target by Tk 50,000 crore.
Ideally, revenue collection was supposed to grow around 13 per cent if the existing GDP growth and inflation were taken into consideration, they said.
According to the provisional estimates of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, gross domestic product growth will be 8.13 per cent in FY 2019 while point-to-point inflation has stood at 5.55 per cent in March.
They attributed excessive high growth target, non-implementation of new VAT law, wide exemption of tax to various sectors including LNG import and telecom and readymade garments industries, and failure to realise outstanding revenue from state-run bodies to the slower revenue collection growth.
According to the provisional data of NBR, VAT collection stood at Tk 52,907 crore followed by customs duty at Tk 41,629 crore and income tax at Tk 38924 crore in July-February of FY19.
Income tax, VAT and customs duty collection grew by 12.13 per cent, 6.28 per cent and 3.74 per cent respectively in the period, the data showed.
Income tax, VAT and customs duty collection was Tk 34,712 crore, Tk 49,778 crore and Tk 40,130 crore respectively in July-February of FY18.
Government has set VAT collection target at highest Tk 1.10 lakh crore followed by income tax collection target at Tk 1,00,201 crore and customs duty at Tk 84,000 crore for FY19.
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