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Tax Collection Still Low In South Asia, World Bank Says

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

08 October 2015


The World Bank said in a recently released report that South Asia's rapid economic growth has not yet translated into significantly higher government revenue generation and improved fiscal balances.

Budget deficits in the region are expected to remain at 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, the highest among all developing regions, according to the latest edition of South Asia Economic Focus.

Tax collection remains well below estimates, and has even deteriorated across major South Asian economies, the World Bank said.

"Mobilizing revenue is critical for the region to develop its infrastructure and deliver better social services, while creating a financial cushion to address potential shocks in the future," said Annette Dixon, World Bank South Asia Vice President. "In some cases introducing and rolling out modern tax instruments holds the key to higher revenue, but containing exemptions and special regimes are crucial across most of the region."

The World Bank expects South Asia's economic growth to accelerate to 7.4 percent in 2016 from seven percent in 2015.

TAGS: Pakistan | tax | economics | value added tax (VAT) | Bhutan | India | Maldives | Sri Lanka | fiscal policy | gross domestic product (GDP) | budget | Afghanistan | Bangladesh | Nepal | services | Tax

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