Revenue receipts rise slightly
Revenue collection grew marginally in July owing to the slowdown in business activities in the face of the government's restrictions to combat the coronavirus spread.
Provisional data from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) shows that it logged Tk 15,354 crore in taxes in July this fiscal year, up 4 per cent year-on-year from Tk 14,755 crore the previous year.
The tax authority's collection in July, the first month of the fiscal year, was Tk 5,613 crore short from its target.
The NBR said income tax was the main driver to keep the overall receipts in a little bit higher territory as collection of import tariff declined while value-added tax (VAT) was slightly up.
Income tax collection went up 15 per cent year-on-year to Tk 4,732 crore in July.
Collection of VAT, the biggest source of revenue for the state, rose 1.3 per cent year-on-year to Tk 5,697 crore in July from Tk 5,620 crore a year ago.
Officials said domestic market-oriented business activities were almost shuttered for nearly three weeks in July, affecting revenue from the two biggest sources -- cigarettes and mobile phones.
The government imposed curbs from the beginning of July until the 14th of that month to ease the restrictions for eight days for Eid-ul-Azha.
The restriction was restored for the rest of the month, which largely affected business activities.
Some four crore mobile phone users had zero balance, said a senior official of the Large Taxpayers Unit of VAT.
Most shops were closed in July and it affected VAT receipts, said Md Anwar Hossain, director general of statistics and research at the NBR.
He said revenue collection usually remains low in July as works for government development projects do not gain pace.
Import pressure also remains low as importers show a lack of interest in opening letters of credit since they wait for the passage of the fiscal measures by the parliament at the end of June.
"Revenue collection gradually increases in the subsequent months," Hossain added.
In July, customs officials logged Tk 4,925 crore, down 2 per cent year-on-year from Tk 5,015 crore the previous year, data from the NBR showed.