The revenue collection fell by Tk 368.41 billion short of the target in the first seven months of the current fiscal year (FY) as businesses are yet to overcome the Covid-19 fallout.
However, the National Board of revenue (NBR) achieved 4.55 per cent growth in the revenue earnings in the July-January period over the corresponding period of last FY, according to provisional data.
The average growth in last five years was 10.20 per cent. In the first half of this FY (July-December), the revenue collection grew by 2.10 per cent.
The NBR officials, however, expressed satisfaction over the positive growth despite the pandemic and expected that the trend would help mobilise the internal resource.
They also expected the collection would increase further in the last quarter (April-June) as the pace of development activities expedited in line with the implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
The target of tax collection for the current FY has been set with 45 per cent growth than that of the actual collection in the last FY.
The officials were, however, sceptical about achieving such an ambitious Tk 3.30 trillion target for the current FY due to the impact of the pandemic. "It would not be possible to achieve," said one of the officials.
In July-January period, the NBR collected Tk 1.32 trillion in taxes against the target of Tk 1.69 trillion. The tax revenue collection was Tk 1.26 trillion in the corresponding period last FY.
All the three wings - Income Tax, VAT and Customs -missed their respective targets for the period.
The VAT collection at local stages showed the lowest growth at 2.26 per cent followed by income tax and travel tax 5.06 per cent, and customs 7.10 per cent.
The VAT wing faced the highest Tk 136.58 billion short fall against its target until January.
Talking to the FE, a senior VAT official said the businesses are yet to come out of the pandemic impact despite normalcy restored in most of the sectors.
He also pointed out that implementation of the VAT law was also facing hurdles due to lack of automation in all the sectors.
Unless the businesses and VAT administration could be fully digitised, he added, the government would not get its desired amount of revenue through implementation of the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012.
There are a number of ambiguities in the law that is holding back the VAT collection, he said.
The customs wing faced Tk 150.88 billion shortfall against its target until January although it achieved a moderate 7.10 per cent growth.
Income tax collection also grew by 5.06 per cent in July-January period although the shortfall against its target stood at Tk 80.95 billion.
The target for income tax was Tk 490.45 billion while VAT at local stage Tk 650.80 billion and import and export taxes Tk 548.81 billion in July-January period.
In the same period last year, the NBR achieved 7.74 per cent growth. Of it, VAT grew 10.24 per cent, income tax 11.55 per cent and customs 1.02 per cent.
In the month of January, the NBR's revenue collection posted 6.41 per cent growth over the corresponding period.
The NBR collected Tk 216.31 billion in taxes only in January against its target of Tk 277.82 billion.
The board faced Tk 61.50 billion shortfall against its target only in the month of January.
The VAT collection grew by 5.88 per cent while income tax 4.82 per cent and customs wing 8.96 per cent during the period under review over the same period last FY.