Revenue collection at Hili land port falls short of target

Halim Al Raji, Hili
Published : 00:00, Feb 22, 2020 | Updated : 00:00, Feb 22, 2020

Hili port earned Tk 1.14 billion, around Tk 237.5 million less than the target set by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for July 2019 to January 2020 of the current fiscal year.
The NBR set a revenue target of Tk 1.38 billion for the first seven months of the current fiscal year. However, the port only managed to collect Tk 1.14 billion against the revenue target.
According to Hili land port customs station, the NBR set Tk 2.72 billion as their revenue target for the port for the entire current fiscal year.
In 2019, for July, the port’s earnings were at Tk 109.4 million against a target of Tk 71.6 million. In August the port earned Tk 93.1 million against a target of Tk 173.1 billion, in September, Tk 141.6 million against a targeted Tk 119.4 million, in October Tk 119.7 million against Tk 162.3 million as a target, in November, Tk 182.6 million against a Tk 243.9 million target, and in December the earnings were at Tk 245.1 million against a target of Tk 363.4 million.
For this year, the NBR collected Tk 248.4 million against a Tk 242.1 million target in January.
Mahbubur Rahman, revenue officer at Hili land port, acknowledged the revenue deficit.
"NBR's target for January of the current fiscal was Tk 242.1 million, while we managed to collect Tk 248.4 million. But we still encountered an overall revenue deficit of Tk 237.5 million in the first seven months," he added.
The main reason for this is that the quantity of goods imported through the port has decreased, while the import of rice and onion through the port, previously in high frequency, has stopped altogether, Mahbub remarked.
At the same time, some commercial goods were imported through the port, which have also ceased now, due to which there was reduced revenue, the revenue officer mentioned.
Harun Ur Rashid, president of Importer-Exporter Group at Hili land port, said various complications plaguing the land port are preventing the NBR from reaching their desired revenue targets, complications that include bureaucratic difficulties in importing goods, differentiating duty-free goods from commercial goods, and more.
“Goods are often released at other ports of the country for comparatively lower tariff, but in Hili the duty is high, not to mention additional taxes on goods” he added.
Harun said that previously items like dried fish, various motor parts, and other accessories were imported from India using the Hili land port, but over-taxation of such items has dampened their import through this port.
If these complications can be addressed, and policies can be formulated to ease the import process, then import volume and tax revenue will rise again, he said.