Contrary to claims that the Federal Board of Revenue had exceeded the tax collection target for the last financial year, the FBR had in fact suffered a shortfall of Rs36 billion. According to sources in FBR, revenue collection stood at Rs1,552 billion as against the target of Rs1,588 billion. Experts believe the tax collection performance could affect efforts being made by the government for the revival of IMF`s $11.3 billion standby programme. At a late-night press conference on June 30, FBR Chairman Salman Siddique had announced that revenue collection had exceeded the target by Rs2.462 billion because of a number of steps taken by the board to motivate taxpayers to clear their dues. He had put the collections at Rs1,590.462 billion and hoped that the figure could cross the Rs1,600 billion mark with accounting adjustments over the next few days. When asked about the situation on Tuesday, Mr Siddique stuck to his June 30 figure, but said the picture would become clearer after the FBR received two instalments on July 7 and 10. It was not clear whether these instalments would be in the shape of book adjustments. If that is the case, it would suggest that the government had helped the FBR. The FBR chairman said he did not see any discrepancy in the revenue collection figures, especially in sales tax. The FBR`s Inland Revenue department showed gross revenue collection in the total collection figures, which also include payment of refunds to show positive growth. But Mr Siddique claimed the figures were based on net collection. According to the sources, the revenue collection for June was Rs240 billion as against a figure of Rs278 billion released to the media on June 30. The sources said that the revenue figures were usually shown on the higher side by officials in a bid to show positive results as gross sales tax collection was included in the total revenue collection figures. The gross collection revenue figures also include refunds paid to taxpayers. It is believed that the FBR had launched a massive drive to pocket some extra billions to reach the revenue target. But it was still not clear how much advance tax will be collected from taxpayers to bridge the shortfall. However, the sources said that the FBR expected to get a few billions after adjustment of accounts as well.
Dawn News