ISLAMABAD             -        Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs300 bil­lion in the first month (July) of the fiscal year of 2020-21.

The FBR has released the revenue collection informa­tion of first month of current financial year, July 2020. Ac­cording to the released infor­mation, against the assigned revenue target of Rs.243 bil­lion, FBR has collected Rs.300 billion overshooting the target by a staggering Rs.57 billion, which is 125 percent of the assigned revenue target. The Inland Revenue overshot the target by Rs. 52 billion, where­as the Customs Wing exceeded the target by Rs.5 billion de­spite 25 billion relief given in Customs duty.

It is worth mentioning here that the net collection of In­land Revenue in July 2019 had remained Rs.236 billion.

To redress the hardships of the business community caused by Covid-19, an un­precedented amount of re­funds to the tune of Rs.15 billion has been disbursed during July 2020, as com­pared to the refunds of Rs.7 billion during July 2019. Sales Tax refunds are be­ing issued under centralized and automated system called FASTER which is clearing refunds to exporters within 72 hours for the first time as committed by the Govern­ment in July, 2020. This has facilitated the exporters and the industry easing off their liquidity crunch.

According to the official figures, total customs duty collected during July, 2020 is over Rs. 42 billion which is 6 percent higher than that collected in the same period of July, 2019. This is despite the fact that there is less than 1 percent growth in import values during this period.

The higher growth in FBR revenues is primarily on ac­count of better supervision and improved administra­tive controls despite eco­nomic conditions caused by Covid-19 during which the country mostly remained in lockdown state. The rev­enue trajectory also beat the adverse impact of govern­ments’ import compression policy.

The FBR is also engaging with trade and industry to mitigate their genuine griev­ances. FBR is proactively reaching out to trade and in­dustry and resolving their is­sues. It has also launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption dismissing and suspending about a dozen of­ficers and officials only dur­ing the month of July 2020.

In other development, the FBR said that Pakistan Cus­toms is making allout efforts to protect the economic fron­tiers of Pakistan and protect local industry. In line with the vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan, Customs under the leadership and in coor­dination of Law Enforcement Agencies i.e. Police, Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers & Maritime Security Agency has launched a country-wide operation against transpor­tation, storage and sale of smuggled goods.

Raids are being conducted on dumping places used for storage of smuggled items and intelligence based op­erations are being conducted in all major cities including Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and Multan to root out the network of smug­glers.

As a result of these coor­dinated efforts and renewed vigour, the Pakistan Customs has made historic seizures of smuggled goods during the month of July 2020 including gutka, betel nuts, skimmed milk, cigarettes, Iranian diesel, tyres, non-duty paid vehicles, narcotics, cloth, gold and for­eign currency amounting to Rs.3800 million. This is 143 percent increase in the value of seized goods as compared to the seizures amounting to Rs.1560 million made during July 2019.

Pakistan Customs will con­tinue this momentum against smuggling mafias with the assistance of all Law Enforce­ment Agencies to protect lo­cal industry and economic interests of the country