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Revenue target may be revised

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Staff Reporter

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday hinted that the revenue collection target by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for the current fiscal year (2013-14) might be revised this month due to the disruption in overall economic activity amid political instability, especially in the last two to three months.

"The problem in the last two to three months, especially the terrorism this year, has brought the economic activity to a standstill. If there is no economic activity how could people earn and how could we collect revenues? So, there is a need to revise this (revenue collection) target, and I hope at the end of this month we shall do something to this end," he said.

The Finance Minister said this while speaking with NBR officials in the afternoon at its conference room. Newly inducted State Minister for Finance MA Mannan, NBR chairman Md Ghulam Hossain, NBR members and other high officials were present.

Muhith further said such anarchy and violence unleashed by the opposition across the country over the recently held 10th parliamentary elections would come to an end by this month as it should not be allowed to stretch further.

He said the revenue collection target for the current fiscal was not very ambitious, but the final revenue collection of the last fiscal year was lower than its projection, which automatically turn the target for the next fiscal ambitious.

The Finance Minister said the government utilized TK 1,74,000 crore out of the total budget of TK 1,89,000 crore in the last fiscal for which the revenue collection target has marked a rise this fiscal. "In any case, we had to revise this year's revenue collection target."

Muhith on June 6, 2013 placed the Tk 2,22,491 crore national budget for the current fiscal year (2013-14) in parliament eying a 7.2 percent GDP growth rate.

The budget also set a revenue income target of Tk 1,67,459 crore which is 14.1 percent of GDP, of which NBR tax revenue is Tk 1,36,090 crore (11.4 percent of GDP).

The revenue from non-NBR sources has been estimated at Tk 5,129 crore (0.4 percent of GDP). Besides, Tk 26,240 crore (2.2 percent of GDP) will be collected as non-tax revenue (NTR).

The Finance Minister said the immediate past government more or less fulfilled its commitments it made to the nation five years back riding on two things -- overcoming the adverse effects of the global economic recession and robust growth in revenue earnings.

He said the revenue collection growth witnessed around 190 percent in the last five years which is also equal to the growth of the previous 15 years.

Muhith also said he is likely to sit with the Finance Ministry officials, including that of the NBR, on Thursday to chalk out the plan for the next five years.

He also hoped that having a State Minister in his Ministry would be useful as he would be able to share the workloads.

State Minister for Finance MA Mannan said there has been a huge change in the socio-economic sector of the country in the last five years as the country is now at the takeoff stage in economic activity.

NBR chairman Md Ghulam Hossain said political instability in the last few months coupled with some other reasons have put a negative impact on the overall revenue collection.

He informed that the single-month revenue collection witnessed a shortfall of around TK 3,500 crore in December, 2013 while the overall revenue collection shortfall now stands over TK 8,000 crore.

Under the circumstances, he said, the number of submission of income tax returns this year were some one lakh less than the previous year.