Thursday, June 01, 2023
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is likely to miss the tax collection target of Rs7.64 trillion set for the outgoing fiscal year 2023-24 as it could only collect Rs572 billion in taxes in May — which leaves the revenue board with a gigantic task to fetch Rs1,446 billion in the last month (June) — The News reported Thursday.
Keeping in view the performance of the FBR in April and May, the revised tax collection target of Rs7.64 trillion seems impossible to materialise for the ongoing financial year ending on June 30.
The revenue collector requires Rs906 billion in June 2023 in order to touch even the mark of Rs7 trillion against the agreed target of Rs7.64 trillion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Amid rising expenditures, FBR's dismal performance can widen the budget deficit further in the outgoing financial year, so the gap between the total revenues and expenditures is bound to further widen against the fixed target of restricting it in the range of 6% of the GDP.
It is yet to be seen how the government is going to solace the IMF on the revival of the stalled loan programme because, in the prevailing circumstances, the Fund likely gives set prescriptions i.e. either take additional tax revenues or slash down the expenditures.
In the aftermath of slapping additional taxes of Rs170 billion through a mini-budget under the IMF prescriptions including hiking the general sales tax (GST) rate from 17 to 18% and slapping 25% GST on certain luxury items, the government miserably failed to yield the desired results for materialising revenues after February 14, 2023 mini-budget.
Although the FBR did not release any official figures on Wednesday night, the sources disclosed that the revenue collector would be heading towards a massive shortfall for achieving the envisaged tax collection target of Rs7.64 trillion on June 30.
The FBR has so far collected Rs6.194 trillion in the first eleven months (July-May) of the current fiscal year.