Stalled bailout: Govt to stick it out despite IMF procrastination
- Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha says government has made considerable progress with respect to the IMF programme and does not want to detract
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha has said the way forward for the country is to remain in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and the Finance Division and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) are constantly engaged with the Fund.
The minister of state stated this while talking to the media after the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance was presided over by Saleem Mandviwala on Wednesday.
She added that the government is trying to reach an agreement and the Prime Minister has also expressed repeatedly to remain in the IMF programme. She said that the government has made considerable progress with respect to the IMF programme and does not want to detract.
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Pasha said that the Finance Division and the FBR are constantly engaged with the IMF and do not want to detract after paying a heavy political cost and sacrifices by the people. She said that the government wants to take the IMF program along and efforts are being made to reach an agreement with the Fund.
She said that the biggest relief to the people in the next budget would be to control the budget deficit because avoiding further loans is the biggest relief as borrowing to finance the deficit would further fuel inflation.
The minister of state for finance said that inflationary expectations of the borrowing are so embedded and deep-rooted that they cannot be removed easily. Although the economic situation is very difficult, the government would try to provide relief to the extent that there is no additional burden on the people.
Pasha further stated that budget preparations are in progress and the macroeconomic framework is being developed with the finalisation of budget numbers. She added that the budget numbers are being finalized. The government is expecting to present the budget for the next fiscal year around the first week of June but the final date has not yet been approved.
The minister said that an increase in the tax-to-GDP ratio is very critical and deplored that the FBR tax-to-GDP ratio is even below double digits. She said that the priority of the government is broadening the tax base by controlling smuggling and bringing the informal sector into the tax net.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023
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