Pakistan, IMF conclude technical level talks
Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have concluded the technical level talks in which the government presented a plan for cutting Rs611 billion in budgetary expenditures, citing sources, ARY News reported on Friday.
Sources said that Pakistan has left no option other than hiking the prices of petrol, diesel, electricity and gas. The final decision for the toughest decisions will be taken by the prime minister, sources added.
The federal government is also expected to take the other political parties into confidence regarding the tough economic decisions in the upcoming all-parties conference.
READ: IMF SEEKS INCREASE IN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT LEVY
The government is expected to increase fuel levy and impose sales tax on petrol. On the dictation of the IMF, petrol prices will be hiked, whereas, the levy of Rs10 per litre on diesel is expected to be increased.
The global lending institution also demanded to impose a sales tax on diesel.
In the four-day technical talks, the federal government and the IMF mission held discussions to reduce the budget deficit. Different plans were discussed to reduce the burden of external debt payments.
Sources said that the government presented a plan to reduce Rs611 billion in budgetary expenditures. Moreover, the government also agreed on limiting the subsidies to up to Rs340 billion.
READ: IMF GIVING PAKISTAN TOUGH TIME, SAYS PM SHEHBAZ SHARIF
In another development, the details of the mini-budget also came into discussion. The IMF demanded to increase the sales tax rate from 17% to 18%.
They also deliberated on ending discounted sales tax rates for different sectors.
It was learnt that the authorities will end discounted sales tax worth Rs110 billion for the different sectors, moreover, the government also mulled over introducing a new clause in the mini-budget for the imposition of flood levy.
To meet another condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the federal government has made it mandatory for all government officials of grade 17 and above to declare their assets.
A notification to this effect was also issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
According to the notification, the government has also asked public servants to submit details of their overseas assets. “All 17 to 22 Grade officers have to provide all information before opening a bank account,” the notification read.
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