ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) surpassed its collection target by 7.82 per cent to hit Rs386 billion in May, the third highest collection in the second half of the current fiscal year (FY21), provisional data collected by the tax authorities on Monday showed.

May has emerged as the third consecutive month when the FBR revenue collection surpassed the projected monthly target despite Covid-19 impact on all segments of economy. The FBR still expects to pocket a few more billions after book adjustments.

The net collection for May was Rs386bn against a target of Rs358bn, an increase of Rs28bn. Compared to the collection of Rs229bn in May 2020, revenue collection posted growth of 69pc.

The FBR has collected net revenue of Rs4.167 trillion during July 2020-May 2021 period (11MFY21), which has exceeded the target of Rs3.994tr by more than Rs173bn or 4.33pc. This represents growth of about 17pc over the collection of Rs3.549tr during the same period last year.

Pakistan saw the imposition of lockdown from mid-March 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic which led to lesser collection during the last year’s monthly collections in May 2020 and onwards.

It was the third consecutive month when collection exceeded target despite Covid-19 impact on economy.

The gross revenue collection including refunds reached Rs4.383tr as against Rs3.674tr over the corresponding months last year, showing an increase of 19.3pc. The amount of refunds disbursed this year were Rs216bn compared to Rs125bn paid last year, showing an increase of 73pc.

The government, while preparing the budget for FY21, had assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of raising Rs4.96tr against Rs3.99tr collected in FY20, a projected increase of 24.4pc. However, the IMF has revised downward this revenue target to Rs4.691tr for the current fiscal year.

The FBR will have to collect Rs523bn in June to meet the target, which is achievable and likely to be surpassed.

For next year, the IMF has proposed revenue collection target for the FBR at Rs5.963tr as against Rs4.691tr revised target for FY21. However, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that FBR revenue collection will reach to Rs5.80tr in the finance year 2021-21.

Smuggling

Pakistan Customs have seized smuggled goods worth Rs2.6bn in May 2021 against Rs1.5bn worth goods seized last year, thus showing a monthly increase of 74pc.

Similarly, during 11MFY21, smuggled goods worth Rs52.5bn have been seized as compared to Rs40.8bn in the same period in FY20, showing an increase of 29pc.

Moreover, the value of seized goods of Rs52.5bn in 11MFY21 has crossed the total value of seized goods.

In FY20, smuggled goods worth Rs36bn were seized. The seized smuggled items included non-Customs paid (NCP) vehicles, betel nuts, fabrics, cigarettes, auto-parts, electronic goods, POL products, gold/silver bars/jewellery and other miscellaneous goods.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2021

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