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'IMF-dictated' budget may pave way for new loan programme

Talks between govt and IMF conclude today: Fund asks Pakistan to raise taxes, electricity and gas tariffs

By News Desk

May 23, 2024 01:09 PM


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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not yet showed its willingness to allow another loan programme to Pakistan as the talks between the two sides are going to conclude today, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.

Sources told 24News TV channel that the IMF had put forward to the government some conditions and conveyed to it that it would have to fulfill these in the upcoming budget before any deal could be struck.

Giving further details, sources said that the Fund had told the government that it would have to lay out measures in the budget aimed at expanding the tax base.

Furthermore, they disclosed, the government had been asked to increase the gas and electricity prices.

Another condition, they revealed, was that the government would have to eliminate the circular debt in the energy sector.

Sources informed that yet another condition was that the government would have to fix the market rate of the US dollar in order to become eligible for a new loan programme.

Policy-level talks between Pakistan and the international money lending organization had started three days days ago, focusing on crucial economic reforms aimed at reducing unnecessary expenses and securing a new loan programme.

Led by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, Pakistan’s economic team presented a comprehensive plan to the IMF team, led by Nathan Porter, to reduce expenses by approximately Rs300 billion in the next fiscal year.

The plan also included a ban on fresh recruitment to vacant posts from grade 1 to grade 16, no allocation of development funds for the parliamentarians, and the introduction of a partnership-based pension scheme.

The government also outlined plans to stop funding of ongoing provincial development projects and refrain from establishing new universities.

 

Reporter: Waqas Azeem


News Desk


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