MUZAFFARFABAD: The Inland Revenue Department of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has surpassed the budgetary targets for the first three quarters of the ongoing fiscal year by more than 20pc.

The overall budgetary target of Rs22.76 billion had been assigned to the department for the financial year 2018-19. Of this, the target for collection of direct taxes (income tax) was Rs16.4 billion.

Over the first three quarters of current financial year, ending March 31, the department was supposed to collect around Rs10.66 billion, but it had collected Rs11.288 billion with a significant increase of Rs622.169 million.

This information was shared at a high level meeting held here on Friday to review the three-quarterly revenue collection of the Inland Revenue Department.

The meeting was presided over by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and attended among others by chief secretary Mathar Niaz Rana and other officers concerned.

In case of income tax there had been substantial revenue increase of Rs1.881 billion as against collection of Rs9.407 billion with 20pc growth rate during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

Briefing the participants on the occasion, secretary finance maintained that in spite of a sharp decline in revenue collection due to completion of mega hydropower projects, reduction in tax slabs and litigation affairs, the Inland Revenue department had succeeded in surpassing the tax collection in the first nine months of the current financial year.

He said the department had also witnessed increase in generation of provincial taxes.

The target of provincial taxes was fixed at Rs4.235 billion for the first three quarters of current financial year, whereas collection was equivalent to Rs4.336 billion, recording an increase of Rs101 millions, he said.

The meeting was told that department had added 4,000 new taxpayers in one year and this figure would multiply in the coming months.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider congratulated the department for its hard work and achievement and assured them that the government would take care of their accommodation and other needs.

He was of the view that though inclusion of 4,000 new taxpayers was a welcoming step, yet there was more scope for further expansion of tax base in AJK.

“As the current fiscal year has been declared as ‘revenue year’ the department should accelerate its efforts for successful achievement of the assigned budgetary targets,” he said.

He directed that the record of all taxpayers in AJK should be compiled and maintained on modern lines.

The AJK Inland Revenue Department had long been under the administrative control of the AJK Council.

It was, however, transferred from the council to the AJK government under the 13th Amendment in the AJK Constitution, passed by the joint sitting of the AJK Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council in June last year.

Mr Mahmud, a BS-20 officer of the department, who was serving on deputation in the Federal Board of Revenue since 2010, was recalled to his parent organisation under the directives of Prime Minister Haider and appointed as commissioner direct taxes and head of the department.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2019