MIRPUR (AJK)    -   The Inland Revenue Department of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has collected record revenue in the form of different taxes for the fiscal year of 2018-19, official sources said.

AJK Inland Revenue Department Commissioner Sardar Zafar Mehmood Khan told in an interview to this correspondent here on Monday that his department had collected Rs16.50 billion by June 30 against the set target of Rs16.40 billion for the financial year of 2018-19.

The Commissioner described it a record revenue collection by his department after the arrival of 13th Amendment in the Interim Constitution of AJK.

The details gathered by this correspondent reveal that the credit for this outstanding performance of Revenue Department, especially in the aftermath of 13th Constitutional Amendment, goes to Sardar Zafar Mehmood Khan, Commissioner Inland Revenue, under whose proficient skills and meticulous strategies the department became able to surpass the assigned target.

The tireless efforts of departmental officers and other staff members have also paved the way for successful achievement of budgetary targets. It is notable aspect that despite closure of hydel projects of Neelum Jhelum and Patrind and despite reduction in taxation rates of salaried individuals, enhanced revenue collection of Rs4780 million is result of 13th Constitutional Amendment.

During previous financial year, it had been brought on record in writing by the then Commissioner Inland Revenue deputed in AJK from FBR that owing to above facts, the annual collection would not be more than Rs12 billion. But the considerate government policies and capabilities of State Commissioner Inland Revenue have made possible the record revenue collection of Rs16.50 billion.

It is evident from record and figures that under the management of AJK Council, the income tax targets could never be achieved for last few financial years. For instance, during financial year 2016-2017, collection of Rs13.267 billion was made against revenue target of Rs15.15 billion with substantial shortfall of Rs1.883 billion. Similarly, in financial year 2015-2016, shortfall of Rs.1 billion occurred as collection remained at Rs12.87 billion against the target of Rs13.87 billion.

For that reasons, deficient amounts were transferred to the government as a result of which the government not only faced overdraft but also insufficient funds remained available with the government for development plans. Besides these problems, the government had to impose frequent financial bans.

During the financial year 2018-2019, the Department of Inland Revenue under the supervision and professional expertise of Sardar Zafar Mehmood Khan, Commissioner Inland Revenue has managed the enhanced revenue accumulation as against assigned targets. It is hoped that the Inland Revenue Department shall persist with its outstanding performance and shall perform an active role in way of strengthening the state economy finically.

It is worthwhile to mention here that prior to 13th Constitutional Amendment, the income tax was subject of AJK Council and accordingly the income tax collection was shared between AJK government and AJK at 80:20 ratio. Till May, 2018, the department under the management of AJK Council collected Rs12.51 billion of income tax, in which the AJK government tax share as per 80 percent was at Rs10.01 billion.

It is worth mentioning here that the Department of Inland Revenue under the supervision of AJK government since 2nd June, 2018 i.e. after 13th Constitutional Amendment has been able to accumulate revenue of Rs14.79 billion till May 2019, which comparatively gives out increase of Rs4.78 billion against May 2018.