Published in The Daily Star on Thursday, 2 July 2015.
NBR reaches target after two years
Star Business Report
After falling short for two years in a row, the National Board of Revenue has managed to hit its collection target in the just concluded fiscal year, much to the relief of the government.
The revenue authority logged in Tk 136,267 crore in fiscal 2014-15, which is 1,239 crore higher than the target for the year. The collection is also an increase of 13 percent over the previous year.
The collection figure eliminates fears that the target would remain unachieved for the third consecutive year.
“It is not a miracle; it is the reality,” NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman said at a press briefing yesterday.
Achieving the target was a challenging task, he said, while singling out the field officers for special praise.
The increased organisational capacity as a result of good governance and introduction of modern management also helped, according to the NBR chairman.
The collections from customs, income tax and value-added tax all exceeded their targets for the year in fiscal 2014-15.
Collections from customs grew 15 percent year-on-year to Tk 38,236 crore, according to the NBR.
VAT collected from domestic businesses rose 11 percent year-on-year to Tk 48,638 crore, while income tax collections increased 13 percent to Tk 49,393 crore.
Rahman is bullish about meeting this fiscal year’s target of Tk 176,370 crore as well, which is an increase of 29 percent over fiscal 2014-15’s receipts.
He cited the case in fiscal 2010-11, when a 27 percent collection growth was seen. “So it will not be difficult to attain about 30 percent growth.”
To achieve the goal, the NBR would scan harder to find new taxpayers, open a new tax zone to ensure proper collection of tax-at-source, Rahman added.
Towfiqul Islam Khan, research fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue, expressed doubts about the year-end figure released by the NBR.
“It is possible that the NBR has overestimated the figures,” he said, adding that there have been large discrepancies between the figures reported by the NBR and the finance ministry in recent years.
In fiscal 2013-14, the figure reported by the finance ministry, which is based on the integrated Budget Accounting System, was Tk 9,000 crore lower than the NBR’s total collection claim. “A similar scenario is perhaps looming.”