The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) finally has something to cheer about. It has been trying to increase tax collection for quite some time now but things didn’t really improve. Until now that is.
The board has managed to collect more than Rs. 100 billion in the first 15 days of July, which is by far the highest revenue collected in the past few years in a similar time period.
FBR, like other key government departments, has had its issues in the recent days. From being stuck up with the Panama investigations to the unexplainable transfer of key officers, FBR has been part of one bad news after another.
The Supreme Court and Joint Investigation Team hearings would have meant a sluggish start to the fiscal year 2017-18, however, the surge in revenue collection has been remarkable. The regular work in the field hasn’t been compromised despite the usual issues that plague the tax collection department.
The Rs. 100 billion milestone marks an impressive 30% growth in the first two weeks of 2017-18
Revenue collection in July last year was Rs. 150 billion, which means that FBR can easily cross this figure having already collected far more than half the amount. An FBR spokesperson, while talking to a news agency, was firm in his stance that they were not leaving anything pending because of the JIT or Supreme Court hearings.
He added that, “We have issued most statutory regulatory orders related to budgetary measures”.
Annual revenue collection targets have been projected to be Rs. 3.42 trillion for 2016-17, however, the revenue board only managed Rs. 3.37 trillion, which is about 47 billion short of the target.
With a figure of 3.42 trillion as the annual revenue as a starting point, the FBR has projected revenue collection for 2017-18 to be Rs. 4 trillion, which makes it a “very ambitious revenue target”, as per Khawaja Tanveer who is a Member, Operation Inland Revenue for the FBR.