Revenue collection by the National Board of Revenue fell Tk 32,754 crore short of the target in the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year 2020-2021.
Tax collection in income tax, customs duty and value-added tax, however, grew by 2.10 per cent in the July-December period of FY21 compared with that in the same period of FY20, according to NBR provisional estimates.
Field-level tax officials managed to collect Tk 1,08,471 crore in the six months of FY21 against the collection target of Tk 1,41,225 crore set for the period, the data showed.
Tax officials said that a slowdown in both local and global economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic along with the second wave of infections took its toll on revenue mobilisation.
An excessively big target of revenue generation has also resulted in a high shortfall in tax collection, they said.
The government set an ambitious target of revenue mobilisation at Tk 3.30 lakh crore for the entire fiscal year with around 46 per cent growth target over the collection of the previous fiscal year.
The NBR will have to collect another Tk 2,21,529 crore in the remaining six months of the year to achieve the target.
Revenue collection in the July-December period would increase by around Tk 1,500-Tk 2,000 crore after the final calculation of VAT collection is made.
Traders are allowed to file their VAT returns until the 15th day of the next month. VAT returns for December 2020 are supposed to be submitted by January 15.
NBR officials said that as per provisional data, customs duty collection grew by 6.66 per cent and income tax collection grew by 4.73 per cent in the July-December period of FY21 compared with that in the same period of FY20.
Growth in VAT collection remained in negative zone as collection dropped by 3.36 per cent in the period.
As per the data, tax collection in December alone dropped Tk 6,888 crore short of target as tax officials managed to collect Tk 21,377 crore in the month against the target of Tk 28,265 crore.
Revenue collection, however, grew by 6.3 per cent year-on-year in December.
Customs duty and income tax collection grew by 8.61 per cent and 6.33 per cent year-on-year in the month while VAT collection dropped by 16.56 per cent, the data showed.
There is a little hope of improving the situation before the last quarter of the fiscal year as domestic and global economic activities might not get pace until the coronavirus situation improves.
There are expectations that the COVID-19 outbreak might see a positive turn as many countries have already started vaccination activities.
Whatever the situation may be, the revenue board is set to face a huge shortfall in revenue collection by the end of the fiscal year.
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