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Collect more taxes from the wealthy, protect the poor: IMF chief to Pakistan

  • Remarks come after IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva meets Pakistan's Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on sidelines of ongoing UNGA session in New York
Published September 21, 2023

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director (MD) Kristalina Georgieva urged Pakistan to “collect more taxes from the wealthy and protect the poor”, stressing that the lender believes this is “in line with what people there would like to see”.

“What we are asking in our programme is that please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan,” she said while responding to a query on the sidelines of the ongoing 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on Wednesday .

“I do believe this is in line with what people in Pakistan would like to see for the country.”

Separately, Georgieva also posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, after meeting with Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.

“Very good meeting with Pakistan’s PM today on Pakistan’s economic prospects,” she said. “We agreed on the vital need for strong policies to ensure stability, foster sustainable and inclusive growth, prioritise revenue collection, and protection for the most vulnerable in Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, as per a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Thursday, the caretaker prime minister expressed gratitude for the IMF’s approval of a $3-billion Stand-By Agreement (SBA) to support Pakistan’s economy.

The arrangement was given the IMF’s Executive Board approval in July, and will see its second review in November.

“He briefed the MD IMF on various measures taken by the Government of Pakistan to stabilise and revive the country’s economy,” read the statement.

Kakar affirmed that the initiatives aim to create a stable and conducive environment for sustainable economic growth and investment in the country. Additionally, a strong focus had been placed on protecting the vulnerable segments of society, added the statement.

“MD IMF Kristalina Georgieva appreciated Pakistan’s concerted efforts in implementing policies and reforms to revive the economy. She assured that the IMF remained committed to continued engagement with Pakistan,” read the statement.

Back in July, Pakistan inked a last-minute SBA with the Washington-based lender amid default fears. The nine-month agreement then paved the way for inflows from multilateral and bilateral partners including Saudi Arabia, UAE and World Bank, providing a cushion to the depleting foreign exchange reserves position.

The IMF programme also gave some breathing room to Pakistan’s economy that has been struggling with a boom-and-bust cycle for decades in the absence of meaningful structural reforms.

Runaway inflation and a balance-of-payments’ crisis are also currently causing severe economic distress and prompted the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to downwards revise its growth outlook for the country this fiscal year.

A low level of foreign exchange reserves also meant Pakistan’s central bank imposed import restrictions as debt payments remain high and avenues of dollar inflows remained limited.

Earlier, Kakar called upon the world to find a durable solution to the debt problems being faced by 59 countries in debt distress.

Addressing the Leaders’ Dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) organized by the United Nations in New York, the caretaker PM said proper implementation of the development agenda is only possible with global and regional cooperation.

“In this regard, we welcome the endorsement of the UN secretary-general that could help generate over 500 billion dollars for the countries facing liquidity challenges,” he added.

Kakar said that resources must be provided to developing countries to achieve sustainable development goals. He also reiterated Pakistan’s determination to fully support the Global Development Initiative.

“The implementation of the Global Development Initiative is a milestone, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are important in achieving sustainable development goals,” he said.


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Notsurprised Sep 21, 2023 12:54pm
It is so embarassing that Kakar should even go to NY. Cannot wait for his 15 mins of fame to be over. The equivalent of Buzdar in every respect.
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Arif Sep 21, 2023 01:05pm
‘Collect more taxes from the Rich’ hahahahahah …. Poor Kristalina is telling this to a man who’s one day hotel stay in NY (on tax payers money) is more then what he paid in taxes during the last 5 years .
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Builder Sep 21, 2023 01:06pm
Yes, do not expand tax net - collect more taxes from existing direct tax payers who pay indirect taxes as well. Who has courage to bring the wealthy to tax net?
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Muhammad Iftikhar Sep 21, 2023 01:34pm
Only a statement. If they are sincere then they should link their next tranche of loan to condition that Gop will eradicate all types of Perks of civil and military officers and cut subsides that they give to wealthy exporters. They should also allow Pakistan to buy oil from Iran. They only give this statement for point scoring.
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faisal Sep 21, 2023 01:39pm
Isn't it irony that capitalist are asking for social measures. Shows how non-functional our system is.
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KU Sep 21, 2023 01:55pm
Good scolding from the IMF, but she forgot to mention a cut in expenditures? Not likely. Yet the reality is that in our part of the world, wishes are always fools.
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Sep 21, 2023 02:31pm
The smart rich looking caretaker Pakistani PM should gift a new jacket to poor Kristalina.
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KhanRA Sep 21, 2023 02:33pm
Expect the govt to start badmouthing the IMF as unfair
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Parvez Sep 21, 2023 02:48pm
Our two bit politicians are oblivious of how ridiculous they look to the world and to their own countrymen when they make such pointless expensive visits to satiate their small egos.
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Ghareeb Awam Sep 21, 2023 02:51pm
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has to be awakened and told by IMF that he should collect more taxes from the rich to feed the poor. This is something the leaders of this country should have known on their own. The IMF advice, however, will fall on (permanently) deaf ears.
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Mark Sep 21, 2023 03:00pm
No more free electricity, petrol, gas, guard, car, gardener and driver paid by tax payer money for all who are paid by the State.
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Johnny Walker Sep 21, 2023 03:41pm
@Muhammad Iftikhar, Completely agree with you. Additionally, Kakar should be made to pay for this trip (including the expenses of the troupe of joy riders that he took with him) to USA.
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Mubashar Mirza Sep 21, 2023 04:07pm
He is enjoying n satisfied.
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AmirSh. Sep 21, 2023 06:14pm
Look at the captioned picture...It is crystal clear-our PM is immensely enjoying caretaker prime minister ship! Many many thanks to Tax Payers' money.
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Sufi Sep 21, 2023 06:14pm
Doubtful if people like kakar running the show under army supervision, can make any decision, let alone act accordingly
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Az_Iz Sep 21, 2023 06:30pm
That is what people want to happen. But that is also very tough to implement. Besides, the GOP will not willingly do it. It needs to be coerced from others like IMF. Offer loans for development with more monitoring, not for consumption.
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Usman Sep 21, 2023 06:34pm
Start a trend in this country demanding to tax the rich
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Usman Sep 21, 2023 06:34pm
@Notsurprised, no way.buzdar was jistba puppet of perni.atleast kakr can talk.
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TheActualTruth Sep 21, 2023 06:44pm
Wow, great hidden pearls of wisdom from our International Over Lords conveyed to the Puppet of our National Over Lords. Our great Care Taker PM had to undertake travel to New York to receive this hidden wisdom, at the expense of this forsaken nation.
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Abbas Khan Sep 22, 2023 12:01am
The dumb & inefficient governments will keep on increasing the taxes on Salaried Class, Companies, Indirect taxes & levies while giving a free pass to influential corrupts scattered across various segments of society
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