ISLAMABAD  -   The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will have to collect mammoth Rs586 billion in current month (December) to meet the tax collection target of Rs1.96 trillion set for the first half (July to December) of ongoing fiscal year (FY2019).

The FBR had collected Rs1.38 trillion during first five months (July to November) of the FY2019. The FBR had already facing Rs100 billion shortfall in tax collection, which is expected to increase by the end of current month. The FBR would have to collect Rs586 billion in December to reach the target of Rs1.96 trillion set for the first half of FY2019.

On the other hand, the government is not taking standard rate of General Sales Tax (GST) on petroleum products prices in order to provide relief to the masses. The government had charged less than 17 percent GST on oil products during five months of the current financial year. The FBR had projected around Rs60 billion revenue losses due to the government’s decision of not charging standard 17 percent GST on petroleum products. This would also affect the FBR’s effort in collecting the revenues.

“The target is challenging but not impossible,” said an official of the FBR. He informed that FBR is working to improve its administration to enhance the collection. The FBR is projecting to generate revenues from the tax demand from audit and from liquidation of the litigation cases. He further informed that Finance Minister Asad Umar had given full support of the government in drive against non-taxpayers that would help in broadening the tax base of the country.

Another official said that government had recently changed the team of FBR after facing Rs100 billion shortfall in five months. The FBR had posted its five senior officers and placed them in various ministries.

In September 2018, the PTI led coalition government had downward revised the tax collection target by Rs45 billion for the ongoing fiscal year 2018-19 despite taking additional taxation measures,. The previous PML-N government had set the tax collection target for Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) at Rs4435 billion for the current financial year. However, the PTI government had downward revised the target to Rs4390 billion despite introducing additional taxation measures.  Out of Rs178 billion, Rs92 billion are those which were related to enforcement measures including avoiding smuggling, stopping illegal businesses, etc.