The federal government is set to present a mini budget next week, Advisor to PM on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin revealed.
Speaking at a talk show last night, Tarin broke the news of upcoming mini budget and said:
“The latest agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is different because the global lender had included tough conditions in them. IMF wanted to impose taxes worth PKR. 700 billion and raise the power tariff by PKR4.85 per unit initially. However, the government successfully convinced the IMF to slash these conditions by half as the international lender has now imposed taxes worth Rs. 350 billion and asked the government to raise the electricity tariff by PKR2.42 per unit. The latest deal with the IMF had already been finalized this year in April. However, the government convinced the IMF to revise some of its conditions before officially announcing the agreement. Besides, both parties also explored different options to broaden the tax base instead of burdening citizens with new taxes.”
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin also disclosed IMF conditions for the loan, it included:
Firstly, to increase Petroleum Development Levy (PDL). Secondly, to impose a 17% universal General Sales Tax (GST). Thirdly, to amend the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Act. Fourthlyl, to allow the audit of the COVID-19 vaccination program. And Lastly, to furnish details of the beneficial owners of the companies supplying Coronavirus vaccines.
Earlier this week, the federal government announced that IMF has agreed to release the next tranche of $1 billion to Pakistan under the larger $6 billion loan program, though the agreement has yet to be approved by the IMF’s Executive Board. The global lender IMF had applauded Pakistan for achieving key targets laid down in the previous agreement that envisaged restoring the confidence of investors in the country.
With the disbursement of the $1.059 billion tranche of the loan, the total loan amount received by Pakistan under the $6 billion loan program would reach $3.27 billion.