ISLAMABAD - The civil disobedience call announced by PTI’s chief Imran Khan has not hit the tax collection efforts of the government, as Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has surpassed the monthly revenue collection target by one billion rupees two days before the ending of August.
“The FBR has collected Rs 181 billion during 29 days of the August. The tax collection could reach Rs 185 billion by the completion of the figures of the current month against the target of Rs 180 billion”, said Shahid Hussain Asad, official spokesperson of the FBR while talking to The Nation on Saturday. Shahid Hussain Asad, who is also Senior Member (Inland Revenue) Policy FBR, said that tax collection has increased due to the efforts of the tax department. Tax collection has shown 24 per cent growth in August 2014 as against the corresponding period of the previous year when FBR collected Rs 145 billion.
Sources in FBR informed that civil disobedience call announced by PTI’s chief Imran Khan has not affected the revenue collection so far, as collection is on track. Cricketer-turned politician on August 17 had announced the civil disobedience call in the country by not paying utility bills and taxes to the government, which was rejected by every section of the society. Similarly, the ongoing sits-ins of the two political parties Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in federal capital did not affect the tax collection efforts of the FBR in the month of August.
Meanwhile, the FBR had collected Rs 319 billion during first two months (July and August) of the ongoing financial year 2014-2015, which is 11 percent of the overall revenue collection target. The government had set a mammoth revenue collection target of Rs 2.81 trillion for the current fiscal year, which is 24 percent higher than the accumulation of the previous year that was Rs 2.26 trillion.  It is worth mentioning here that government had fixed an uphill tax collection target of Rs 2.8 trillion for the current fiscal year. The government had introduced fresh taxation measures worth of Rs 231 billion in the budget, as it eliminated tax exemption worth of Rs 103 billion and new taxes worth of Rs 128 billion were introduced.
Sources informed that tax collection has enhanced in the first couple of months of the FY 2014 mainly due to the heavy taxation introduced in the last budget. Sources were confident that the positive trend of revenue collection in July and August 2014 would continue in rest of the months (September to June) of the ongoing fiscal year that would end in collecting of target.
However, independent economists had feared that government could not achieve the target by the end of June 2015. Eminent economist and former advisor to the Finance Ministry Dr Ashfaque Hassan, from the very start of ongoing fiscal year, had projected that government would never achieve the target, as FBR could collect only Rs 2.6 trillion during current fiscal year. The government had already given assurance to the IMF that the government would further eliminate the tax exemptions worth of Rs 81 billion in the last quarter (April-June) of the ongoing financial year 2014-2015 if FBR failed to achieve its target during nine months (July-March) of FY2015. The SROs giving Rs81 billion worth of tax and duty concessions, which are supposed to be withdrawn from fiscal year 2015-16, will be scrapped in the current fiscal year if the collection remains dismal in the first nine months.