Revenue collection of the Custom House, Chattogram fell 23 percent short of the target in the first half of 2018-19, the biggest drop in six years.
Some Tk 21,358 crore was collected against the goal of Tk 27,724 crore, meaning they were behind by Tk 6,366 crore during the July-December period of the fiscal year, according to the National Board of Revenue.
The full-year revenue target is Tk 57,463 crore.
Overshooting intended figures in three consecutive fiscal years till 2015-16, the Custom House lagged behind 6 percent of the target in 2016-17 and 9 percent in 2017-18.
Sources familiar with the customs authority cited several reasons for the shortfall, including a drop in the import of some 50 products, unattained bank guarantees, deferred payments of government bodies, duty cuts for goods eligible for customs procedure codes, and lawsuits.
Around Tk 7,000 crore was generated through the import of the 50 products, including sugar, apple, salt, rice, palm oil, readymade ceramic and plastic products, fibre cable, steel, iron, reconditioned cars, microbus cylinders, and car parts.
It was Tk 350 crore more in the same period last fiscal year. Mehraj ul Alam Samrat, deputy commissioner of the custom house, told The Daily Star that they were taking up several initiatives to meet the revenue target in the next six months.
It includes increasing surveillance on consignments of importers and clearing and forwarding agents who have a history of dodging tax and on products which are likely to be falsely declared in tax evasion attempts.