Revenue collection and export target set for the first six months (July-Dec) of the financial year 2003-04 have not only been fully met but surpassed


Jan 19 - 25, 2004



The claim of the Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz that Pakistan's economy is on its way to a steady turnaround in fully supported by healthy developments in different sector. Most forceful testimony comes from the fact that both the revenue collection and export target set for the first six months (July-Dec) of the financial year 2003-04 have not only been fully met but surpassed.

Keeping in mind the track record of the Central Board of Revenue, which never came up to the mark it indeed came as a pleasant surprise to learn that July-Dec target has been surpassed by over four billion rupees. The Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz told newsmen in Islamabad. The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has collected Rs.224 billion revenues during the first six months of the current financial year which is in excess of the target set for the six month by over Rs. 2 billion and formed 44 percent of the financial year target. This amount is higher by over 11 percent as compared to the revenue collection in the same period last year. The minister hoped that the figure of Rs. 224 billion will rise by about Rs. 1 billion when collection figures are finalized.

Giving the break down of tax collection in July-December 2003-04, he said that the Sales Tax collection has increased by nine percent, customs by 45 percent while three and half percent more revenue has been collected from the direct taxes. This is significant that government is not only on the set target of revenue of Rs. 220 billion for the first six month of the current fiscal year but also exceeding the set target of revenue collection which is a healthy trend and result of the government's prudent economic policies, said the Finance Minister adding that "this positive tax collection reflects that economic activities in Pakistan are getting momentum. If we continue to follow the same transparent policies, the tax collection will improve further".

He hoped that due to this positive and healthy revenue collection, the government would be able to achieve the economic growth target of 5.3 percent during the current fiscal year and will be able to allocate more to the public sector development programme (PSDP) which always received the cut of shortfall in revenue collection in the past.

The export during July-Dec 2003 rose to about $ 5.9 billion against of $ 5.5 billion showing an increase of over 13 percent over the corresponding period last year. It was mainly because of increased shipments to the US, European Union and Turkey after these countries increased their quotas and relaxed duty structure.

Imports also rose by over 14 percent during this period touching $ 609 billion against $ 5.78 billion last year increasing the trade deficit to $ 729 million from $ 590 million during the first six months last year.

A few days back Chairman Export Promotion Bureau, Tariq Ikram, while addressing the members of Lahore Chambers of Commerce, disclosed that Pakistan export crossed the figure of $ 4.8 billion during the first 5 month July-November, 2003 of the current fiscal exceeding the target by about 300 million dollars. He confidently claimed that the exports will easily exceed the target of $ 12 billion for 2003-04 financial years, the first five-month figure reflected an increase of over 11.5 percent during the same period last year. He said that the textile and garments sector had contributed to exports and there were 12 to 13 percent increases as compared to last year. Quota utilization was satisfactory and in some categories it had been utilized 100 percent.

The EPB chief stated that the performance was not so good in rice, leather and leather garments, carpet, sports goods and surgical instruments. However, rice did well, as there was 3.5 percent increase in unit price with marginal increase in the volume till November. There was decline in leather except leather footwear. However, he was not happy to note that non-traditional items export, suffered a $85 million shortfall. He however, claimed that this shortfall will be made up in the next months. With advent of New Year, fresh quota would also be available. "Everything seemed to be moving in right direction, said Tariq Ikram.