Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Pakistan holds policy level talks with IMF today


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the IMF holding policy-level talks on budget deficit, external financing and other key issues, citing sources ARY News reported Tuesday.

Expenditures will be slashed by 600 billion to bring the budget deficit down to an acceptable level, sources said.

Preparations being made to deduct development budget by 33 percent, this development budget deduction likely to cross over 300 billion rupees, according to sources.

The development budget spending will likely to be over 400 billion from 727 bln rupees, sources shared. The preparations are on the anvil to stop funding on unnecessary and such projects, which are only on the paper, sources said.

“Subsidy will be restricted from the current fiscal year’s budget,” according to sources.

The government have to enhance the power and gas tariffs to bring the subsidy down, sources said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also demanding monitoring of all projects and this monitoring of various projects will be made public on the website step by step, sources added.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to ‘do more’ for the revival of stalled loan programme as technical talks have been completed in Islamabad.

During the technical talks, the IMF team remained committed to its demands with regard to increasing General Sales Tax (GST) from 17 to 18 percent on all goods with a point of view that a one percent GST hike will help in collecting another Rs 39 billion, sources added.

The IMF has also emphasized the Pakistani team not only for the abolishment of income tax exemption but to impose a Flood levy to meet FBR’s revenue target in the current fiscal year of 2022-23.

The Fund has also demanded of the Pakistani authorities to increase flood levy on the profit earned by the banks.

The government team will also give a roadmap for the privatization program during the policy talks, sources added.


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