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Karachi: Former governor of Sindh and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mohammad Zubair has said that the tax collection target set by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for the coming fiscal year is totally dependent on the decisions taken by the United States and other world powers.

In a press conference on Saturday, the spokesman of PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz said that a target of Rs610 billion has been set as revenue from petroleum levy, but Pakistan cannot even collect more than Rs100 billion at the current rate for the whole year.

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"In order to reach the Rs610 billion target, the government will have to increase petrol prices by Rs25 and increase levy by Rs30. This will increase inflation," the PML-N leader said.

He stressed that Pakistan's plan to meet its expenditure is dependent on international decisions, specifically those made by the US.

"The budget is dependent on the United States' decision regarding removing sanctions on Iran. Tarin says Pakistan will increase the petroleum levy when US lifts sanctions on Iran, which will increase its oil production and bring down prices."

He continued that he has never seen such a 'ridiculous' budget, adding that the poor would be further pushed into hunger and poverty. Prime Minister Imran Khan made such decisions under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that ruined the economy, he added.

Shehbaz flays budget, calls it ‘fake’

"Even Tarin admitted that the government was under pressure from IMF," Zubair said. "The PM did not consider the people but made decisions as per the IMF. We do not trust the PM and his decisions," the former governor said.

On Friday, Tarin had said that the current account deficit when PTI came into power was $20 billion along with short-term borrowing of $8-10 billion, creating a financing gap of $28 billion.

"As a result, the government had no other option but to take a front-loaded IMF programme. The IMF adopted a harsh attitude and the discount rate was increased to 13.25 percent, the exchange rate was taken to Rs169 against dollar, while gas and electricity tariffs were raised," he said.

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