ISLAMABAD - The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has faced a revenue shortfall of Rs104 billion in the month of January, which is making the revised annual tax collection target difficult to achieve.

The FBR has collected Rs321 billion in January as against the target of Rs425 billion leaving the shortfall of Rs104 billion.

In seven months (July to January) of the current fiscal year, the FBR could collect Rs2408 billion as compared to the actual target of Rs2872 billion and Rs2552 billion revised target. Keeping in view the current performance, the FBR would face difficulties in achieving the revised target without additional revenue generation measures.

The tax collection shortfall is increasing with the every passing month despite the fact that the government had introduced massive taxation measures in the budget for the current fiscal year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already agreed with the government of Pakistan to revise downward the tax collection target to Rs5238 billion from the original Rs5550 billion.

However, the Federal Board of Revenue is already struggling to achieve the revised tax collection target.

The FBR has faced shortfall of Rs144 billion in seven months period when compared with the revised target of Rs2552 billion.

The FBR officials had admitted that the government could not achieve the revised tax collection target without a mini budget. However, the FBR had attributed tax collection shortfall due to the reduction in imports of the country.

According to the FBR, an estimated loss of Rs56 billion of taxes is incurred on every billion dollar of import compression.

The FBR has redoubled its efforts on domestic side and has managed to shift its tax dependence on import taxes from 56 percent to a little above 40 percent this year.

With the expected upturn of economic activity in the last six months and a likely stabilisation of imports, it is expected that FBR is going to collect an unprecedented amount of taxes this year without disrupting and distorting economic activity.