- Launches interest-free loans under Kamyab Pakistan Program in Islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded on Wednesday performance of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for collecting a record Rs443 billion tax this month, saying that this allowed the government to provide relief to the people.
The prime minister's remarks were made during an inaugural ceremony of issuance of interest-free loans under Kamyab Pakistan Program ceremony in Islamabad.
Kamyab Pakistan Program is part of the PM's vision for Poverty Alleviation under which loans worth Rs407 billion would be disbursed among the youth, women, farmers, as well as for the construction of low-income houses during the next two years.
“Pakistan was created to become an ideal Islamic welfare state," said Khan in his address. "Unfortunately, we deviated from our way and due to this we were unable to reach the position we were meant to."
Khan praised the performance of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which surpassed the assigned monthly revenue collection target of Rs441 billion by collecting Rs443 billion during February 2022.
“We have collected record tax in Pakistan, because of this we are able to subsidize petrol, diesel and electricity and give relief to our people despite the geopolitical situation,” said Khan, adding that the people should give more tax to allow the government to give more incentives to the masses.
On Monday, Khan in an address to the nation announced various measures to boost the economy and tame inflation, saying that petrol prices will be reduced by Rs10, while electricity tariff would be brought down by Rs5 per unit.
Following this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that it will question the government on the merits of relief package and incentives announced by PM Khan during the upcoming 7th review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.
This was confirmed by Esther Perez Ruiz, IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, while responding to a query from Business Recorder.
The IMF official stated, “The authorities and the IMF will discuss during the upcoming 7th review of the EFF the merits of the recently-adopted relief package and other measures to promote macroeconomic stability amidst a challenging external environment.”
The IMF 7th review under the EFF programme is expected by the end of the current month, which would be followed by the Executive Board meeting in April 2022.
Opposition terms POL products, electricity tariffs as ‘another U-turn
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice-president and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi termed the announcement of the prime minister regarding a Rs 10 per litre reduction in petrol and diesel prices and also Rs 5 per unit in the electricity tariff as another “U-turn”.
He said that that the prime minister used to say few days ago that the oil prices increased in the country due to increase in its prices at the international level and then the government jacked up the price of petrol by Rs 12 per litre.
But the prime minister did not tell the nation that the government has increased the oil prices as per the promises made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said.
Meanwhile, referring to the Kamyab Jawan Program (KJP), Khan said that some 4.5 million households have been brought under the KJP umbrella, which was launched in KPK province but will now be spread throughout the country.
“Under this program, an urban household could avail Rs500,000 in interest-free loan to initiate their business, whereas a rural household could avail Rs350,000 interest-free loan for agricultural activity.
“Furthermore, every household could avail Rs2 million interest-free loan for house construction, and technical education would be provided to one family member, providing them the skill to earn for themselves,” he said.
“Next year, the government would provide loans of Rs1 trillion to these 4.5 million households,” he said.
Referring to housing loans, PM Khan said that earlier banks did not lend to the poor, and only rich people could build houses due to which slums are growing in our country.
PM Khan said that in a boost to the construction industry, commercial banks for the first time are giving loans to the salaried class to construct their homes. “Till date, Rs55 billion worth of loans have been given for house construction,” he said.
He added that by end of this month, all households in Punjab province will be provided with a Sehat Card.
“Under the Sehat Card, a household could avail health insurance of up to Rs1 million,” the PM said.
Khan said that he would initiate the Rehmat Ul Alameen Authority, on Thursday (tomorrow), as “I want everyone to know the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”
Earlier, founder and executive director of Akhuwat Foundation Muhammad Amjad Saqib in his address lauded the efforts of PM Khan and his government. He said that next month a similar ceremony will be held in KPK, and then in other parts of the country.