The Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Cumilla, has collected around Tk150 crore more than the revenue target set in June of the recently finished fiscal year.
The target for collecting revenue that month was Tk366 crore, while the commissionerate collected Tk516 crore. The growth rate was about 41%.
The revenue collection target in Cumilla for June in FY20 was Tk374 crore, while the VAT commissionerate collected Tk315 crore.
The growth of revenue earned in June of FY21 is about 64% compared to June of FY20, according to sources at the Cumilla Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate.
According to the sources, the Cumilla VAT Commissionerate collected Tk3,150 crore revenue in FY21. In the previous fiscal year, the commissionerate collected Tk2,883 crore. Compared to the previous financial year, the revenue collection in FY21 was Tk267 crore more. The revenue collected in FY21 is the highest ever.
From the revenue collected for FY21, the tax deducted at source is Tk825 crore. The commissionerate collected Tk2,325 crore revenue from entrepreneurs and the services sector.
The commissionerate collected Tk1,331 crore revenue from the products sector except the cigarette sector. It collected Tk1,819 crore from cigarettes.
Revenue to the tune of Tk100 crore was collected from beverages, Tk45 crore from petroleum gas and other gases, Tk30 crore from medicines, Tk6.5 crore from biscuits, Tk70 crore from bidi, Tk40 crore from non-ceramic bricks, Tk39 lakh from powdered milk, Tk10 crore from syringes and Tk3 crore from the cotton yarn sector.
The collection of revenue from businesses which have suffered losses in the pandemic, including restaurants, hotels, press, paper, book stalls, manufactured clothes and confectionery sectors, was very low.
Sources further said out of 12 commissionerates of the country, Cumilla has become the champion in collecting VAT 10 times in a row in the last fiscal year. Cumilla was not the champion in July that fiscal, but it was way ahead of other commissionerates in filing VAT returns online in the 10 months from August to May. The final results for June are not yet available. However, Cumilla VAT Commissionerate sources are hopeful that they may become the champion again.
How Cumilla Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate succeeded
Sources have said that Belal Hossain Chowdhury took charge as commissioner of Cumilla Commissionerate in July 2020. Since his arrival, he has organised 47 zoom meetings, changing the dynamics of revenue collection in the region.
He took the initiative of selecting skilled officers from six districts under the Commissionerate. They were further trained on the rules of revenue collection. Besides, they were also trained on how to win people's trust and confidence by helping them to overcome their fears and apprehensions.
They adopted the technique of establishing relationships with business owners instead of employees to collect tax more effectively.
Some government establishments and brick kiln owners had evaded revenue. The commissionerate identified them and brought them under revenue collection. Besides, it also took the help of local people's representatives.
The results soon emerged. Cumilla became the champion the next month. Earlier, Cumilla was placed in 12th position, the lowest. Making a leap from there, it gained the top position among the commissionerates, getting the laurels 10 times in a row.
Mohammed Salauddin Ripon, assistant commissioner, Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Cumilla (Headquarters), said, "We do not have enough manpower and vehicles, but still our team is physically monitoring various places. In addition, multiple teams are formed in each department. That is the key to success."
Belal Hossain Chowdhury, commissioner of Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Cumilla, said, "We had to work hard to collect more revenue than the target and to secure the position at the top repeatedly. We had to work harder than what was required."
He said, "If we noticed some issues, the revenue would be easily deposited in the government treasury. For example, the Seven Sister States in India suffer from crises of many products, including oil, fuel, garment products, medicines, etc."
"Besides, India has a long border with Cumilla. There is also a port here. But industries did not develop at the expected rate in Cumilla. There is no big exporting company in Cumilla except for one EPZ,' he continued.
"If many industries can be set up in Cumilla in the shortest possible time, it will be possible to earn a huge amount of foreign currency only by exporting goods to these backward states of India. This will increase revenue collection many times over," he added.