October 21: The government faces an uphill battle to meet the target of revenue collection in the first quarter of the current fiscal year because it has announced an ambitious budget while the economic activities across the country have come to a standstill.
The lockdown and other restrictions were eased to some extent in mid-July, which led to some improvement in revenue collection in the first quarter. However, the government is unlikely to meet its target.
The government has been able to collect only 17 percent revenue of the annual target it had set. According to government estimate, it collected Rs 1.46 billion less revenue than the target in the first month of the current fiscal year between mid-July to mid-August. The revenue collection was lagging behind by Rs 11.53 billion in the second month of the current FY (mid-August to mid-September) while the collection was less by Rs 11.97 billion in the third month (mid-September to mid-October).
The government had set a target to collect revenue of Rs 1011 billion in the current fiscal year. In the first quarter, the government was able to collect only Rs 172 billion, according to the Financial Comptroller General’s Office that keeps the records of government’s income and expenditure.
It is said that the government is facing difficulty in meeting the revenue collection target because it had set a high target.
The government had estimated to collect Rs 912 billion through taxes but has only collected Rs 163 billion in the first quarter. Similarly, the government has set a target of collecting non-tax revenue worth Rs 98.8 billion out of which it has collected only Rs 8.93 billion so far in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Officials of the Inland Revenue Department believe that the revenue collection will gradually improve as the government has eased the restrictions.
The Ministry of Finance has instructed all the departments to work accordingly to meet the target. According to the officials of the IRD, although it seems difficult to meet the target they are working in full fledge to meet the target.
Chief of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department of IRD Durga Dutta Bhandari admits that the tax payers are facing difficulties to pay the taxes but they are still hopeful of meeting the target of revenue collection. Customs officials have also reported an improvement in revenue collection in the recent days.