LAHORE - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs 764.8 billion out of revised tax collection target of Rs 1,604 billion during the first 7 months (July 2010-January 2011) of the current fiscal year, an increase of 10 per cent if compared with the previous year. This was disclosed by the FBR Member Inland Revenue Khawar Khurshed Butt, who was addressing media men at Regional Tax Office Lahore on Saturday. He said the country was passing through fiscal emergency like situation, and FBR had to work on war-footings for achieving tax collection target. However, he underlined that despite several worrisome factors, including low foreign inflows, weak fiscal position and devastating floods, the FBR would try its level best to achieve revised tax collection target of Rs 1,604 billion. He pointed out that last five months of fiscal year were most crucial for tax collection. The FBR still have a target of Rs 827 billion, which would be achieved by June 30. He said that the FBR had started consultative management at different levels to streamline the tax collection mechanism. Speaking about broadening of tax base, he pointed out special measures were being taken to increase the tax net. The Board had appointed Shahid Hussain Asad as Director General Broadening of Taxbase. He said there were two major factors, including small tax base and under reporting by existing taxpayers, hitting the tax collection. It was a wrong perception if the tax base was increased tax to GDP ratio would be better as under reporting was one of the biggest challenges, he added. He said FBR was trying to cross match its data with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to probe incidents of tax evasion. However, he pointed out that this practice might not translate in huge revenue collection. Responding to a query, member Inland Revenue said there were several integrity related challenges within the FBR machinery, but the Board was trying to encourage upright officials. He said business community had genuine grievance about the delay in General Sales Tax Refunds issuance. However, the FBR had directed all Chief Commissioners Inland Revenue to clear refund cases on priority. To streamline the refund issuance several proposals were under consideration, including selection of refund cases on the basis of aging and without the involvement of senior FBR officials it might be difficult, he stressed. He said Inland Revenue Service was the only public department in which the government had allowed double salary as these were the people who collect money for development in the country. Now the government had decided to take a carrot-and-stick approach to curb the menace of corruption from FBR.