KATHMANDU, Jan 15: Revenue collection in the first half of the current fiscal year has fallen around 11 percent short of the target, imposing pressure on the government to manage its financial resources.
According to the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), the revenue collection between mid-July 2020 and mid-January 2021 stood at Rs 422.23 billion. The government had targeted to collect revenue worth Rs 475 billion in the period.
The revenue collection target for this fiscal year stands at Rs 1.01 trillion. However, the revenue collected in the first six months of the current fiscal year is only 41.73 percent of the annual target. Of the collected amount, Rs 386.53 billion was generated from tax collection.
The officials at the Ministry of Finance said the shortfall in revenue collection was due to the businesses going into stagnation for almost nine months since the government imposed the first lockdown on March 24. The officials however termed the revenue collection ‘satisfactory’.
It has almost been four months since the government adopted a policy to loosen the economic activities after the outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19. However, many firms are still struggling to revive their businesses. A report unveiled by Nepal Rastra Bank shows that only around 54 percent of the businesses have now come into full operation.
The financial crunch is clearly revealed also by the government’s recent call for collecting funds to import vaccines against COVID-19. Issuing a public notice on Wednesday, the government has requested the general public to contribute to the fund collection for bringing in the first lot of the vaccine.
According to the FCGO, government authorities collected revenue worth Rs 33.71 billion in a single day on Wednesday, the final date for renewal of the business firms and tax settlement. Although the first half of the fiscal year has passed, the government has been able to spend only 14.4 percent on development works. The government has earmarked Rs 352.91 billion for capital expenditure this fiscal year.