ISLAMABAD- Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs 253.4 billion taxes during first quarter of the fiscal year 2008-09 that is one-fifth of the annual target, providing a sigh of relief to the cash-starved government.   Provisional figures of Federal Board of Revenue, the national tax collecting body, show Rs 253.4 billion revenue during first three months (July-September) of the fiscal year 2009. The collection is one per cent more than the quarterly target of Rs 250.8 billion. The revenue growth remained at 23.5pc in the first quarter. The FBR had added Rs 205.2 billion to the national kitty during the same period of the last year. The fiscal policy 2009 sets Rs 1251.5 billion-revenue target for the FBR. Out of which Rs 755.5 billion or 60.4 per cent is to be collected under sales tax, federal excise duty and customs duty, all the indirect taxes. The direct tax target for the whole year is Rs 496 billion or 39.6 per cent of the annual projection. The govt is expecting Rs 50-70b more than the targeted revenue due to higher inflation. It estimated annual increase in prices of goods and services at 12pc, 5.8pc economic growth and then set 24.5pc revenue growth target. Contrary to it, the inflation registered an average increase of 25pc during first two months, which has become a blessing in disguise for the tax authorities. The Pakistani rupee also shed its value by more than 21pc.    The govt is facing budget deficit problem and borrowing from SBP to finance it. The central bank data shows that the federal government has borrowed more than Rs 173 billion during first eleven weeks of the fiscal year. The economists say the FBR could minimize the government woes by increasing its stagnant 10 per cent tax-to-GDP ratio. According to the FBR's own studies, annual tax evasion in Pakistan is above Rs 500 billion. The first quarter trend shows that so far the tax authorities have not succeeded in keeping a balance between the given ratio of the indirect and direct taxes. The FBR collected 66.7pc taxes through indirect means, which are considered regressive in nature. The FBR collected Rs 168.8b indirect taxes that is 22.4pc of the yearly projection of Rs 755.5b. The break-up shows that an amount of Rs 106.8b is generated on account of sales tax, which is 29.1pc higher than the last year's first quarter revenue. The federal excise duty collection also increased by 49.9pc over the year. The FBR accumulated Rs 23.8b or 21.3pc of annual excise duty target. Likewise, customs duty collection also saw a growth of 31.7pc, as the FBR generated Rs 38.2b on this account. The first quarter figure is 22.4pc of the annual target.  The growth in direct taxes remained in single digit. The FBR mounted Rs 84.6b on this account, which is 9.1pc more than the last year's first quarter figures. The collection is only 17pc of annual direct taxes target of Rs 496 billion. An official of the FBR feared that collection on this account might go down further, expecting the big business firms to show losses or nominal income due to bad times in economy.