Revenue target ambitious: experts
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has set the revenue collection target at Tk3,30,000 crore in the upcoming budget for the 2020-21 fiscal taking into consideration the crisis the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to create.
The huge amount of revenue collection in the outgoing year has remained unrealized. The target for the next fiscal will be ambitious one as the Covid-19 pandemic has already destroyed the country's economic fabric, said experts.
In the first 10 months (July-April) of the current 2019-20 fiscal year, the deficit in the collection of duties and taxes is Tk62,000 crore.
The NBR estimated that the deficit could exceed Tk80, 000 crore in the revised target by the end of the fiscal year.
The main target of the NBR in the current fiscal year was 3, 25,600 crore. The target has been reduced to Tk3, 00,500 crore due to non-collection of the revenue at the desired rate.
The question now is how much the deficit can be reduced in the end, a NBR official said adding that, stopping this negative growth in revenue collection is now a big challenge for the NBR.
He said the new budget is coming again with higher target.
On the one hand, in the context of Corona, the pressure is there to give more tax exemptions than the new tax imposition in the next fiscal year, he said.
Again there is also pressure on them to increase the revenue collection, he added.
Former NBR chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the NBR had never targeted its revenue collection according to its capacity. It has never thought about how much revenue it can collect in reality, he mentioned.
The size of the budget is adjusted according to the government's development plan, he said, adding that, the main goal of the NBR is to provide a big chunk of the budget money.
Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute Ahsan H Mansur said the target set for revenue collection in the next fiscal year is unrealistic.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) does not have the capacity to collect so much revenue, he mentioned.
In such a situation, it is not possible to collect so much revenue without radical reforms in the revenue sector, he informed.
This reform cannot be done in one day, he said adding that, "The government should take short and long-term reforms from the next financial year. Firstly, automation should be ensured."
This will help to reduce corruption and irregularities, he noted. Tax offices should be spread at field level, Mansur said.
In addition, the rule of law must be established to prevent tax evasion, he said adding that, the existing laws need to be updated quickly.