Federal Board of Revenue on Monday claimed that it would achieve monthly tax collection target for December 2015.

“Revenue collection up to November 2015 and first three weeks of December was satisfactory and FBR would be able to achieve the revenue target for the ongoing month,” said FBR Chairman Nisar Mohammad Khan in a meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, to review the fiscal and revenue targets and measures for broadening of tax base.

An official informed that FBR hoped to generate additional revenue due to the taxation measures announced by the government on November 30 and higher GST on petroleum products, which would help in meeting the monthly target.

The FBR has to collect Rs346 billion in December to meet International Monetary Fund’s target of Rs750 billion for the second quarter (October to December) of the ongoing financial year 2015-2016. The FBR had collected Rs444 billion during October and November and would have to collect Rs346 billion in the month of December to meet the IMF’s target of Rs750 billion.

The FBR had already missed the first quarter (July to September) target of Rs640 billion by Rs40 billion, which forced the government to impose new taxes. The government, on the direction of IMF, had taken taxation measures of Rs40 billion from December 1, 2015.

The meeting also reviewed the status of expenditures during the second quarter of the financial year. It was noted that the expenditures during the first 5 months were broadly in line with the fiscal targets, while every effort was being made to meet the end-December target. Pakistan has to restrict budget deficit to Rs625 billion (2.03 percent of the GDP) during first half (July to December) of the current fiscal year. The deficit, gap between national income and expenses, was recorded at Rs490 billion during July-November of this fiscal year.

The government has already missed the first quarter budget deficit target of Rs306 billion due to the FBR’s failure and sought a waiver from the IMF Board in this regard. The country’s budget deficit was recorded at Rs328.2 billion (1.1 per cent of the GDP), as expenditures stood at Rs1265.2 billion against the revenues of Rs 937 billion during July-September.

Finance Minister expressed satisfaction on the fiscal situation and directed that it must be ensured that fiscal limits are strictly adhered to. The minister was also briefed on the steps being taken by FBR for broadening the tax net, facilitation of the tax payers and simplification in the procedures for filing tax returns. The minister was given a detailed briefing on the draft Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme prepared by FBR following a series of meetings and negotiations with the representatives of traders from all over the country. The scheme is an important element of FBR’s efforts for broadening of tax base. The Minister issued directions to FBR for introducing further improvements in the scheme so as to attract maximum number of new tax payers and achieve the aim of broadening of tax base.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue, Haroon Akhtar Khan, Secretary Finance, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Chairman FBR, Nisar Mohammad Khan and other senior officials attended the meeting.