Revenue collection edged up in first half of the fiscal year, spurred by improving receipts of value-added tax (VAT) and customs tariffs -- much to the relief of the government that is distressed about the slowing receipts.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) logged in Tk 105,161 crore for the months of July and December of last year, up 7.3 per cent year-on-year, according to provisional data.
At this time in 2018, the NBR’s collection growth was 6.4 per cent.
It is a somewhat heartening development for the government that is chasing a towering target of Tk 325,600 crore this fiscal year.
The first half collections missed the periodic target by Tk 31,507 crore, meaning the government will have to increase its borrowing from the banking sector to finance its budgetary plans.
Already, the government’s borrowing from the banking sector exceeded its total target of Tk 47,365 crore, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank.
Taxmen will have to collect a staggering Tk 220,440 crore in the second half of the fiscal year -- a seemingly impossible mission.
In the first half of the fiscal year, collection of VAT, the biggest source of revenue, increased 7 per cent year-on-year to Tk 41,090 crore.
This suggests the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012, which took effect from July 1 with promises of raising collections substantially, is yet to bear much fruit.
Customs officials could snap the downturn in collection recorded until November of this fiscal year: tariff receipts rose 2 per cent year-on-year to Tk 31,423 crore in July-December period.
And income tax receipts stood at Tk 32,646 crore in the first half of the current fiscal year, up 14 per cent year-on-year.