In an ambitious plan, the National Board of Revenue (NBR), country’s central authority for tax administration, has set the revenue collection target at Tk 3,30,000 crore in the upcoming fiscal 2020-21.
Experts say while the huge amount of revenue collection in the outgoing year remains unrealized, the next fiscal target will be ambitious one as Covid-19 pandemic has already destroyed the country’s economic activities.
In the first 10 months (July-April) of the current 2019-20 fiscal year, the deficit in the collection of duties and taxes is Tk 62,000 crore.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) estimates that the deficit could exceed Tk 80,000 crore from the revised target by the end of the fiscal year.
The main target of NBR in the current fiscal year was 3,25,600 crore.
This target has been reduced to Tk 3,00,500 crore due to non-collection of 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 to give more tax exemptions than the new tax will be mounted in the next fiscal year, he informed.
Besides, the revenue collection has to be increased, he added.
Former NBR chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the NBR was never targeted to collect revenue according to its capacity.
It is not thought how much revenue can be collected 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 big portion of budget money.
Executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) 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 reduce corruption and irregularities, he mentioned.
Mansur said tax offices should be spread in the field-level.
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.