ISLAMABAD             -      The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has surpassed two months tax collection target by Rs.42 billion.

The FBR has released the revenue collection information of first two months of current financial year i.e. July & August-2020. According to the released information, against the assigned revenue target of Rs.551 billion, FBR has collected Rs.593 billion thus showing an increase of Rs.42 billion and 108 percent of the assigned target. 

The revenue collection in the first two months of the previous year 2019-20 was Rs.582 billion whereas it is increased to Rs.593 billion this year.

To redress hardships of the business community caused by Covid-19, refunds to the tune of Rs.30.6 billion have been disbursed collectively in the first two months of FY-2020-21, as compared to refunds of Rs.11 billion during first two months of FY-2019. Sales Tax refunds are being issued under centralized and automated system called FASTER which is clearing refunds to exporters within 72 hours for the first time as committed by the government. 

FBR is also engaging with trade and industry to mitigate their genuine grievances. FBR is proactively reaching out to Trade and Industry and resolving their issues. 

It has also launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption dismissing and suspending 76 officers and officials since July 2020.

In post COVID-19 pandemic scenario, the economic activities are now being revived through multiple economic stimuli and reliefs granted in the budget FY-2020-21. Hectic efforts were put up by customs field formations in respect of collection of duty and taxes which was otherwise a daunting task owing to post COVID-19 pandemic economic constraints, Muharram’s holidays and heavy rain fall in Karachi which is the epicenter of country’s revenue collection. The heavy rainfall has badly affected the customs clearance of imported cargo during last week and resultantly the revenue collection. 

According to the official figure, total customs duty collected during first two months of current FY-2020-21 is Rs.92 billion. Sales tax collection at import stage is on lower side as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year owing again to heavy rain fall in Karachi. Furthermore, exemption granted in respect of Additional Customs Duty (ACD) on more than 1600 tariff lines in budget FY 2020-21, also subsequently resulted into decrease in sales taxable value.

In line with the vision and directives of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to curb the menace of smuggling, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) vigorously launched a countrywide counter-smuggling drive. 

The FBR accordingly directed its field formations to make all out efforts to intensify anti-smuggling activities.

In pursuance of the aforesaid directions, Pakistan Customs has initiated massive anti-smuggling operations throughout the country and across all terrains that have led to significant seizures of smuggled goods. 

During the month of August 2020 alone, Customs seized smuggled goods worth Rs.3.95 billion as compared to Rs.2.1 billion in August 2019, thus showing an increase of 87.3%. 

These seized goods included fabrics, cigarettes, foreign currency, POL products, auto parts, foodstuff, narcotics and other miscellaneous goods. 

The Customs formations at Quetta, Peshawar and Multan have seized smuggled goods worth Rs.1.6 billion, while most of the remaining goods were at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad from raids on godowns wherein smuggled goods were stored.