Revenue collection by the National Board of Revenue fell short of its revised target by Tk 62,000 crore in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year 2019-2020 mainly due to the shutdown of economic activities for the coronavirus pandemic.
Tax officials managed to collect Tk 1,73797 crore in July-April of FY20 against a target of Tk 2,35,796 set for the period, according to NBR’s provisional data.
The revenue board is projecting a negative growth in revenue collection this year by more than 6 per cent for the first time in the country’s history, fearing of huge losses in revenue as the pandemic would continue to hit the economy hard in the remaining months of FY20.
According to NBR’s estimation, the shortfall may stand at Tk 80,500 crore by the end of FY20 as tax officials may only be able to collect Tk 2.20 lakh crore against the Tk 3,00,500-target for the year.
The revenue board collected Tk 2,34,684 crore in the previous FY19.
Revenue collection grew only by 0.64 per cent in the July-April period of FY20.
Revenue collection dropped drastically in March and April as a result of the pandemic which is feared to affect collection further in May.
In April alone the NBR faced a deficit of Tk 8,789 crore against its revised target.
Revenue collection usually registers a peak in May and June which seems unlikely this year although collection may pick up pace in June due to the reopening of economic activities and payment of taxes deducted at source.
The NBR data showed that its income tax wing lagged behind by 30.25 per cent in July-April against the revised target for the period followed by the customs wing which trailed by 28.58 per cent and the VAT wing which trailed by 20.76 per cent.
Under the circumstances, NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem requested the finance ministry to slash the revised target for FY20 as well as the target for the next FY2020-2021 set at Tk 3.30 lakh crore.
The NBR chairman, in a letter sent on May 14 to finance secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, said that it would be impossible to achieve the target under the present situation.
The pace of revenue collection would not be at the expected level in FY21 as it would take time for normalcy to return in the economy globally, he said.
The NBR may collect at least Tk 2.50 lakh crore in the upcoming FY21 if the average 14 per cent revenue collection growth of the last five years is taken into consideration, he added.
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