The Federal Board of Revenue has collected Rs42 billion more than the set target of Rs551 billion, according to its data for the first two months of the current fiscal year, July and August.
The FBR managed to collect Rs593 billion during the two months, which was 8% more than the set target. The revenue collection in the first two months of the fiscal year 2019-20 was Rs582billion.
“To redress the hardships of the business community caused by COVID-19, refunds to the tune of Rs30.6 billion have been disbursed collectively in the first two months of FY-2020, as compared to refunds of Rs11 billion during first two months of FY-2019,” FBR said.
“Sales tax refunds are being issued under a centralised and automated system called FASTER, which is clearing refunds to exporters within 72 hours for the first time as committed by the government,” FBR added in a media release.
FBR said it is also engaging with trade and industry to mitigate their genuine grievances. It added that it has also launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption dismissing and suspending 76 officers and officials since July 2020.
FBR said that Customs face a difficult task of collecting duty and taxes due to COVID-19 pandemic economic constraints, Muharram’s holidays, and heavy rainfall in Karachi, which is the epicenter of the country’s revenue collection. The heavy rainfall affected the customs clearance of imported cargo during the last week of this month and resultantly the revenue collection.
According to the official figure, the total Customs duty collected during the first two months of the current FY-2020 is Rs92 billion. Sales tax collection at the import stage is on the lower side as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year owing again to heavy rainfall in Karachi. Furthermore, the exemption granted in respect of Additional Customs Duty (ACD) on more than 1600 tariff lines in budget FY 2020-21, also subsequently resulted into a decrease in sales taxable value.
During the month of August 2020, Customs seized smuggled goods worth Rs3.95 billion as compared to Rs2.1 billion in August 2019. These seized goods included fabrics, cigarettes, foreign currency, POL products, auto parts, foodstuff, narcotics, and other miscellaneous goods.
Moreover, mega seizures of luxury vehicles, gold, and betel nuts were also affected during the same period. The Customs formations at Quetta, Peshawar, and Multan have seized smuggled goods worth Rs1.6 billion, while most of the remaining goods were at Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad from raids on godowns wherein smuggled goods were stored.