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Pakistan set to talk to IMF this week

Shaukat Tarin to lead Pakistan delegation

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Oct 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will hold face-to-face policy level talks in Washington.

According to the finance ministry,  Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin will lead the Pakistan delegation. The finance minister will brief the IMF on the economic situation and performance in Pakistan.

Talks will begin on October 13 and will last for three days.

If they are successful the IMF will immediately disburse $1 billion.

On Friday, the IMF asked Pakistan to increase electricity tariffs by Rs1.4 per unit to curb the surge in circular debt.

The fund asked Pakistan to take more steps to increase income tax, sales tax, and regulatory duties collection and urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to pull up the annual tax collection target from Rs5.8 trillion to Rs6.3 trillion, according to officials who did not wish to be named.

According to data released by the FBR, net revenue collection in September was Rs535 billion, which is 31.2% higher than Rs408 billion collected in September last year. The FBR has achieved net revenue of Rs1,395 billion in the first quarter of the current financial year, which is Rs186 billion more than the target set for the period.

In addition, the IMF has told the government to abolish or significantly reduce all kinds of subsidies, according to officials.

It has demanded that the privatization program be expedited and that a timeframe be set for the auction of loss-making state-owned companies.

Last month, the State Bank of Pakistan raised the interest rate from 7% to 7.25% after a 15-month gap. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that they decided to do this for the IMF program.

In 2019, the IMF executive board approved a three-year $6 billion loan to support Pakistan’s economic plan, which aims to return sustainable growth to the country’s economy and improve the standards of living.

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