The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has reported that tax collection in January 2021 surpassed all the previous records in the province.

The authority collected Rs11.23 billion in the first month of 2021, which was 10% higher than the collection of Rs10.21 billion in the same month of 2020.

In the first seven months of fiscal year 2020-21, the revenue authority managed to collect Rs85.9 billion against Rs62.2 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year, reporting a 38% growth.

“Keeping such encouraging figures in view, the authority is now hoping to surpass its yearly tax collection target,” said a PRA spokesperson. “So far, 69% of the target has been achieved.”

The authority has been given a tax collection target of Rs125 billion for 2020-21.

Owing to the Covid-19 outbreak across the world, the provincial government has set a realistic tax collection target for fiscal year 2020-21.

In the previous fiscal year, the tax collection authority had failed to achieve its original target of Rs166 billion and revised it down to Rs105 billion. Punjab collects sales tax on services from 69 sectors.

The authority did not share sector-wise tax collection details as collection from some key services might be disappointing.

An official of the Punjab finance department believed that the telecom sector would turn out to be the ultimate saviour of PRA.

“The sector generated a massive chunk of revenue for the authority during 2020 as internet and other services provided by telecom operators remained the only source of connectivity during lockdowns,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2021.

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