ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has expressed its inability to release tax collection figures without reconciling them with the data of Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR), leading to a delay in announcement of final statistics.
According to a senior official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the State Bank took the stance and became more cautious after a mistake in last year’s tax collection figures.
At the end of the previous fiscal year in June, FBR Chairman Salman Siddique announced at a press conference that revenue collection had exceeded the target of Rs1,588 billion and total receipts stood at Rs1,590 billion. However, later the FBR retracted its statement and admitted that total collection was Rs1,550 billion.
Owing to the State Bank’s refusal to provide figures to the FBR without reconciling them with AGPR data, the FBR has not been able to release final revenue collection figures for fiscal year ended June 2011 and provisional figures for July – the first month of the new fiscal year.
According to the official, this has happened for the first time in FBR’s recent history that tax receipt data for a year has not been disclosed after a lapse of one month. He said though the FBR had put total tax collection at Rs1,550 billion, it had not released the breakdown, showing collection under different heads like income tax, sales tax, customs duty and federal excise duty as well as payment of refunds.
According to an inquiry conducted by FBR, the official said, large taxpayer units of Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi had provided wrong revenue data, which prompted the announcement of an inflated tax figure of Rs1,590 billion.
He said the three tax units had sent provisional figures without deducting refund payments, which was the main reason behind the high total collection.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.