ISLAMABAD

The PML-N government is struggling to achieve its annual revenue collection target of Rs 2.8 trillion, as the tax collection shortfall reached to Rs 134 billion during seven months (July-January) of the ongoing fiscal year 2014-15.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has provisionally collected Rs 1336 billion during July-January of FY 2015 as against the target of Rs 1470 billion for the said period leaving shortfall at Rs 134 billion. However, the collection has shown growth of 13 percent if compare with the collection made in same period of previous fiscal year when FBR had collected Rs1185 billion.

Meanwhile, the FBR has faced massive shortfall of Rs 40 billion only in the month of January 2015. The government has collected Rs 170 billion as against the target of Rs 210 billion.

The PML-N government had set Rs 2810 billion revenue collection target for the current financial year, which seems difficult to achieve keeping in view the so far performance of the tax department. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already estimated that government would collect Rs 2756 billion by the end of June 2015. The government is continuously blaming the declining oil prices for lower revenue collection. The government had estimated that due to a reduction in the international oil prices would result in estimated revenue shortfall of Rs 68 billion during year 2014-15. Therefore, the FBR had increased the General Sales Tax on petroleum products by five percent to 22 percent to generate additional revenue. The move would result in generating Rs 17.5 billion for the national kitty before June 30 2015.  Sources in Finance Ministry informed The Nation that Pakistan could face tough time from the IMF during ongoing talks for the sixth review holding in Dubai over the poor performance of the Federal Board of Revenue.