ISLAMABAD - The government is unlikely to achieve annual revenue collection target of Rs 2,381 billion set for ongoing financial year 2012-13 despite bringing tax amnesty scheme to allow evaders to whiten their black money and assets at home and abroad within three months against a nominal one-time charge to generate around Rs 100 billion, it was learnt on Thursday.

“The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would not achieve revenue collection target of Rs 2,381 billion during fiscal year to be ended on June 30 even with the introduction of tax amnesty scheme, as already tax shortfall reaches to around Rs 90 billion in just four months”, said Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan, an eminent economist and currently Dean and Professor, NUST Business School, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) while talking to The Nation.

It is worth mentioning here that FBR is struggling to achieve the monthly tax collection targets during the ongoing financial year, as Federal Board of Revenue has provisionally collected Rs 509 billion during the first four months (July-October) of the current financial year 2012-13 against the target of around Rs 599 billion thus leaving shortfall at Rs 90 billion.

The FBR officials also admitted that government is unlikely to reach the tax collection during the current financial year without additional revenue generation measure. Therefore the federal cabinet in last week has approved tax amnesty schemes allowing tax dodgers to get their hidden incomes and assets legalised by paying nominal penalties in a view to broaden the tax base of the country. The FBR has planned to generate Rs 100 billion with this tax amnesty schemes.

However, Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan said that former President Pervez Musharraf had also introduced such tax amnesty schemes in 2002 that generated only Rs 2 billion. Therefore, he said such amnesty schemes could not help the government to reach the target but it would discourage the honest taxpayers who are regularly paying their taxes.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Transparency International have shown concerns over the introduction of tax amnesty schemes to whiten the black money. Transparency International’s adviser Adil Geelani has reportedly wrote the letter to Supreme Court of Pakistan demanding suo motu action over the amnesty scheme. The TI said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would have to legalise illegal assets of Rs7500 billion to generate Rs150 billion revenue though taxes.

Similarly, the IMF has also shown concerns over the tax amnesty schemes and asked the government to take permanent steps to broaden tax base of the country instead of introducing such amnesty schemes in order to achieve the revenue collection targets.