Tax-revenue mobilised by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) fell short of the revised target by Tk 200 billion in the just concluded Fiscal Year (FY), according to a provisional figure.
Revenue officials and experts attributed the shortfall to the setting of an 'ambitious' target by the government.
The NBR collected an aggregate Tk 2.05 trillion worth of tax revenue in FY 2017-18 against the revised target of Tk 2.25 trillion.
Original target for tax revenue collection was Tk 2.48 trillion for the last FY.
According to the provisional data, the revenue collection shortfall is Tk 430 billion against its original target.
However, the revenue collection achieved 20 per cent growth over the last FY.
In FY 2016-17, the NBR achieved 19 per cent growth in revenue collection.
Both income tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) wing posted around 22 per cent growth each in FY' 18. Customs wing lagged behind achieving 13 per cent growth over the corresponding period, according to NBR figure.
In FY' 18, VAT wing collected the highest revenue worth Tk 778 billion, income tax wing Tk 662 billion and customs wing Tk 615 billion.
Officials said the target was ambitious for NBR in view of current economic condition and pace of private sector investment.
A senior official of the NBR said the revenue collection figure may go up after compilation of final data by the end of this month (July).
"We are happy with the impressive growth of revenue collection. The growth may be within 23 to 25 per cent after getting all revenue collection figures until June 30 from the field level offices," he said.
The NBR managed to minimise the volume of its revenue collection shortfall by end of the FY. The shortfall in revenue collection was Tk 300 billion until April while, the volume of shortfall in tax revenue collection was Tk 230 billion in July-March period.
Average revenue collection growth in the last five years was 14.28 per cent.
The original revenue collection target for NBR was set expecting 45 per cent growth over the last year.
The revised target for the current FY was also set expecting 32 per cent growth over the actual tax revenue collection last year.
For the upcoming FY, the government has set Tk 2.96 trillion target for NBR eyeing 33 per cent growth.
The target is Tk 710 billion higher than that of the revised tax revenue collection target for the current FY.
Talking to the FE Sunday, former finance adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said the government should set revenue collection target considering its trend of last few years.
"The target of revenue collection was over-ambitious," he added.
Also, the NBR needs to initiate sufficient steps to expand the tax base rather than increasing tax rate, he added.
There are many people escaping payment of tax who are living outside the major cities, he added.
The revenue board should lay emphasis on collection of proper VAT, he added.
"Many of the shops avoid giving cash memo to the consumers to evade VAT. They do this with the help of a section of VAT officials," he added.
NBR officials said the enforcement mechanism will be strengthened this year with the help of a number of new budgetary measures.
Officials said the compilation of final revenue collection data is taking time this year as it would be reconciled with the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data.
Last year, there was a large gap between NBR's compiled revenue collection data and CGA's actual figure.
The NBR recorded Tk 1.85 trillion revenue collection in FY 2016-17 but CGA found actual collection of Tk 1.71 trillion.
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