ISLAMABAD -  Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Friday has taken notice of missing tax collection during first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year and urged Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to undertake all necessary efforts to make up the revenue shortfall.

He was chairing a meeting to review the six-month performance of FBR for the period July-December of the Financial Year 2016-17 at FBR headquarters. The FBR had missed the first half’s target by Rs148 billion due to the several reason. The FBR had collected Rs1467 billion during July-December of the year 2016-17 as against the target of Rs1615 billion. While taking notice of the fact that only 7 percent revenue growth had been achieved in the first half of the Financial Year 2016-17 compared to target revenue growth of 16 percent, the finance minister urged the FBR team to undertake all necessary efforts to make up the revenue shortfall compared to the target set at the beginning of the current fiscal year.

The government had fixed tax collection target at Rs3621 billion for the present financial year (July 2016 to June 2017). However, tax collection shortfall of Rs148 billion and revenue impact of Rs100 billion of export incentive package announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would make the annual target difficult to achieve.

While briefing the finance minister, the FBR chairman said that FBR has collected more than Rs1,467 billion in the first half of the Financial Year 2016-17 as compared to Rs1,370.9 billion during the corresponding period in the Financial Year 2015-16, reflecting 7 percent growth in tax revenues, compared to target revenue growth of 16 percent for the current fiscal year. He further informed the finance minister that revenue collection during December 2016 has been the highest amongst all the six months of the current fiscal year so far. The finance minister said that the strong performance in December 2016 bodes well for revenue collection in the second half of the Financial Year 2016-17.

He emphasized that strong tax revenue collections are vital to achieve higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, which is a primary focus of the government.

The meeting was also attended by PM’s Special Assistant on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan and senior officials of FBR and the Ministry of Finance.