Upsetting revenue collection scenario

7 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is of the same nature of significance for the government what the principal earning member carries for a family. When the bread earners of a family are fully functional, others dependent on them are well-fed and well-clothed. But if the earning members fail to supply them with bare necessities, family members will have to remain empty stomach and find it difficult to maintain good health.

The NBR is like the main bread earner for the government. The huge expenditure of the government is met from the earnings by its revenue collection agency. In case the NBR fails to achieve its target of revenue collection, it is tough for the government to make two ends meet and will have to borrow funds from non-NBR sources like banks and members of the public through such instruments as bonds and saving certificates.

The government has set Tk 2.96 trillion as the revenue collection target for the NBR for the current fiscal year. But it is a matter of concern that during the first eight months of the year, NBR collection has reportedly fallen short by a huge margin. It is really worrying as to how this revenue wing is going to meet the shortfall, let alone fulfil the total target within these four months. Against this backdrop, the government is likely to cut revenue collection target down to Tk 2.80 trillion but the NBR chairman fears that by the end of the year the total collection may stand at Tk 2.50 trillion. It is nothing but downsizing the target to suit the poor efficiency level of the NBR though what is needed is just the opposite.

However, the pertinent question is how to meet the staggering revenue and development expenditure of the government. The poor performance of the revenue agency will seriously affect the development pursuits of the government. Not only that; the government will have to borrow funds from banks and such others sources to meet the shortfall which, in turn, will have negative impact on private sector investment and price trend. Serious efforts are needed to find ways and means to achieve the revenue collection target within the set period.