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Print Print 2023-02-17

Quick execution of Rs170bn tax initiative: IMF not only satisfied, but ‘surprised too’: MoS

  • IMF also engaged with Pakistan’s friendly countries with respect to the external financing needs of the country, says Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue
Published February 17, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not only satisfied with the government’s measures to generate additional revenue of Rs170 billion through the supplementary finance bill but is also surprised over the speedy implementation of the agreed measures.

This was claimed by Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue while talking to media persons here on Thursday at the Parliament House.

“These revenue measures were discussed and agreed with the IMF have been put in place. This matter was already agreed with the Fund that the government is bringing such revenue measures,” said the minister, adding that IMF is surprised with the government’s pace of work. “We worked very fast on the implementation of prior actions and commitments to the IMF programme”, she added.

Dar presents Rs170bn tax measures

She further disclosed that the IMF is also engaged with Pakistan’s friendly countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China with respect to the external financing needs of the country and would apprise the Executive Board.

Replying to a question, the Minister of State said that external financing was discussed with the Fund. “Our talks with friendly countries on external financing are ongoing and progressed and were optimistic that things move forward.”

The minister said that virtual talks are expected to be held with IMF late Thursday night and would discuss the points of the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP). The government has also submitted further clarification to the draft of the MEFP, said the minister, adding the finalisation of the MEFP would not take longer time.

The policy level agreement was reached with the IMF mission before they left the country, however, on some wording/language, the government sought details while on some government provided, she added.

The minister, earlier briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, informed that the culture of giving subsidies in Pakistan is very old and needs to end. The IMF on the negotiation table conveyed to the government, “mulk chalao ya power sector”.

Senator Mohsin Aziz suggested that a ban should be imposed on the luxury items being imported from abroad rather than increasing taxes on them, also this tax will only encourage the smuggling of these items.

Pasha further said that the government was first considering to totally ban imports of luxury items, however, the WTO, the IMF, and other international agencies were against it. Agriculture income tax is a provincial matter but the sector needs to contribute to the economy, she added.

She further said that as part of austerity measures, a scheme is under consideration to enforce electric vehicles’ manufacturing and deliberating on the financing mode to bridge the gap.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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Salman Feb 17, 2023 07:07am
Ban. Ban. Ban. Studying basic economics should be mandatory for lawmakers, so this country's battered populace does not have to suffer the repercussions of their bans.
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Rizwan Feb 17, 2023 10:37am
Imagine if these measures were taken decades ago. I might be over simplifying here, but things would have been different for Pakistan in a good way.
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Muhammedashrafgandhindhi Feb 17, 2023 12:07pm
Austerity measures should have been announced before presenting mini budget
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usman Feb 17, 2023 12:46pm
Austerity measures should be started by reducing federal cabinet & their perks & benefits.
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KhanRA Feb 17, 2023 12:49pm
Now, get the rich and politicians to pay income tax. Next, charge property taxes on home owners in middle/upper middle and wealthy areas, and use to funds for municipal development instead of turning to loans to fix roads and sewage.
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Khan Feb 17, 2023 02:44pm
A pathetic move ever seen in history instead of focusing on cutting non-development funds they are trying to bridge the Gap through imposition of New Taxation policy. This Madam should stop praising the pathetic step of Mr. Dar
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fuad Feb 17, 2023 02:56pm
IMF was surprised, because YOUR government did ZERO to negotiate the impasse and laid the burden on the people. This deal could have been negotiated by even a joker sitting at the helm of affairs. Since Dar has sucessfully negotiated the return of his personal assets its time for him to step down and ma'am you should follow.
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KhanRA Feb 18, 2023 01:38am
Did the IMF say they were surprised, or are we just to believe you alone? If they are surprised, is it because they didn’t think you were competent enough to do something as simple as raise a tax rate? Is that flattery?
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Truthisbitter813 Feb 18, 2023 09:02am
Austerity should begin at home, there should be a total stop put to exorbitant allowances and illegal benefits enjoyed by public servants (electricity, gas, fuel, plots, generous OTs, bonuses and long paid leaves). These should be brought in line with the legal requirements of the same on the private sector.
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Shahzad Ahmed Feb 18, 2023 12:12pm
The austerity measures on general masses what about the sacrifices from elite no subsidiary of electricity gas and other utilities should be for top government, security and ruling government ministers. No discount of any sort for security and government top officials why tax should borne by general masses as scapegoats since Pakistan formation.
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Dr.Salaria, Aamir Ahmed Feb 19, 2023 07:48am
They can see how desperate we are. Stooping so low for $2 billion. And so called iron brother and ummah will not lift a finger to help until zionist dominated IMF gives the greenlight. What an irony.
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Dr.Salaria, Aamir Ahmed Feb 19, 2023 07:49am
The country should open their hearts to the lion of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, who quite frankly is the only man competent enough to take us out from this mess
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Afzal Feb 19, 2023 09:22am
Yes, all govt are very active in implementing TAXES on Common People. No one has courage to cut down Govt huge unrealistic expenses. Whereas IMF Funds are required to cover Govt expenses and has to do Nothing with Common People.
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Asif Feb 19, 2023 05:38pm
IMF is surprised on the move.How easily we cut the throats of poor Pakistanis.
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Asif Feb 19, 2023 05:41pm
They are surprised How easily you cut throat of poor people.
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