The government's overall tax-revenues maintained a slow growth until February of the current fiscal despite extra collection efforts made by the officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Official figures showed the total revenue collection during the July-February period of the fiscal 2005-06 registered a 13.10 per cent growth over the corresponding period of last fiscal.
The NBR collected revenue worth about Tk 198.07 billion during the first two quarters of the current fiscal while the amount was Tk 175.15 billion in the same period last fiscal.
The revenue collection during the July-February period of this fiscal was nearly 17 per cent lower than the target at about Tk 237.68 billion, figured indicated.
The government has set a total revenue collection target at Tk 356.52 billion for the entire 2005-06 financial year (FY).
The NBR officials observed that such a slow revenue growth was mainly because of a significant fall in the collection of customs duties during the recent months.
"A significant fall in the collection of customs duties lowered the overall revenue collection during the past two quarters," an NBR official said.
The NBR reported a 7.19 per cent growth in the collection of customs duty during the July-February period of the current fiscal over the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
The Board collected nearly Tk 97.20 billion as customs duties during the past eight months of the 2005-06 fiscal compared to around Tk 90.68 billion in the same period last fiscal.
The officials, however, attributed such a poor collection to the latest reduction of customs duties, coupled with the prevailing duty exemption facilities on various sectors.
In August 2005, the government slashed the rates of customs duty by one percentage point on an average in line with the suggestions of multilateral donors -- the World Bank (WB) and the International Momentary Fund (IMF), sources said.
Terming the collection performance of value added tax (VAT) and income tax 'more or less satisfactory', officials said the VAT and income tax grew at the rates of 20.32 per cent and 17.90 per cent respectively until February, 2006.
The total collection of VAT increased to nearly Tk 66.95 billion during the July-February period of the current from Tk 55.64 billion in the corresponding period last fiscal.
Besides, the NBR collected about Tk 32.31 billion as income tax during the first two quarters of the fiscal 2005-06 while the amount was Tk 227.40 billion in the same period of the last fiscal.
A senior NBR official, however, predicted a rise in the revenue collection in the coming months as the authority has already made extra efforts for this.
The efforts include prevention of revenue leakage, early disposal of tax-related legal disputes and streamlining field-level collection drives, the official noted.
Meanwhile, the NBR authority has come under severe pressure from the government for the current slow trend in the revenue collection.
The NBR posted a 15 per cent growth in the revenue collection until November, 2005, officials said.