KATHMANDU, May 5: The alarming spread of the second wave of the coronavirus has taken its toll on the government’s revenue collection target, with the daily revenue collection plunging almost to half of the ‘normal’ amount.
The records with the Financial Comptroller General Office shows that the government collected revenue worth Rs 6.89 billion in five days of the prohibitory orders which have been in place since last Thursday. It means that the revenue collection stood at an average of Rs 1.37 billion daily.
In the last two weeks of April, before the prohibitory orders, the government collected revenues worth Rs 40 billion, with a daily average of Rs 2.70 billion. According to government officials, revenue collection has plunged heavily due to a fall in the major economic activities with the exception of a few essential goods and services.
Earlier, the government had a cushion regarding the management of the financial resources with the notable amount of revenue collection despite the impact of the COVID-19 and lockdown. As of the first eight months of the current fiscal year, the government has been able to collect 92.50 percent of the revenue target.
The government has targeted to collect Rs 1.011 trillion in tax and non-tax revenues in 2020/21. Although the government was hopeful to meet its target, the second wave of the pandemic has come as a huge setback for the government which is busy in preparing the budget for the next fiscal year. “It may put pressure on the government to revisit its priorities and to cut expenditure planned for the development projects,” said an official of the Ministry of Finance.