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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has provisionally collected Rs 300 billion during the first month of current fiscal year, ie, July 2020 against the assigned target of Rs 243 billion, reflecting a growth of Rs 57 billion.

According to an announcement of the FBR Thursday, the FBR has performed remarkably well during first month of the current financial year, ie, July 2020. Against the assigned revenue target of Rs.243 billion, the FBR has collected Rs.300 billion overshooting the target by a staggering Rs.53 billion, which is 125 percent of the assigned revenue target. The Inland Revenue overshot the target by Rs. 52 billion, whereas the Customs Wing exceeded the target by Rs.5 billion. It is worth mentioning that July 2019, net collection of Inland Revenue had remained Rs.236 billion. This growth has been achieved despite economic conditions caused by Covid-19 during which the country mostly remained in lockdown state. The revenue trajectory also beat the adverse impact of governments' import compression policy.

To redress the hardships of the business community caused by Covid-19, an unprecedented amount of refunds to the tune of Rs.15 billion have been disbursed during July 2020, as compared to refunds of Rs.7 billion during July 2019. Sales

Tax refunds are being issued under centralized and automated system called FASTER which is clearing refunds to exporters within 72 hours for the first time as committed by the Government in July, 2020. This has facilitated the exporters and the industry easing off their liquidity crunch.

The FBR is also engaging with trade and industry to mitigate their genuine grievances. The FBR is proactively reaching out to Trade and Industry and resolving their issues.

The FBR has also launched an unprecedented crackdown on corruption dismissing and suspending about a dozen officers and officials only during the month of July 2020.

Referring to the performance of Customs Department, the FBR stated that Pakistan Customs is making all out efforts to protect the economic frontiers of Pakistan and protect local industry. In line with the vision of Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan, Customs under the leadership and in coordination of Law Enforcement Agencies i.e. Police, Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers & Maritime Security Agency have launched a country-wide operation against transportation, storage and sale of smuggled goods.

Raids are being conducted on dumping places used for storage of smuggled items and intelligence based operations are being conducted in all major cities including Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and Multan to root out the network of smugglers.

As a result of these coordinated efforts and renewed vigour Pakistan Customs has made historic seizures of smuggled goods during the month of July 2020 including gutka, betel nuts, skimmed milk, cigarettes, Iranian diesel, tyres, non-duty paid vehicles, narcotics, cloth, gold and foreign currency amounting to Rs.3800 million. This is 143 percent increase in the value of seized goods as compared to the seizures amounting to Rs.1560 million made during July 2019.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020