Finance minister says IMF agreement to be revived in ‘day or two’

Picture source - APP (May 2022)

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) would be reached in “one or two days”.

While speaking to reporters following a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Monday, the finance minister was questioned about the new taxation. He stated that it depended on the status of the target segment and the poor would not have taxes applicable on them.

The finance minister was also asked about the rise in salary of employees by 15 percent and tax exemption on those earning less than Rs1.2mn. He responded that the monetary watchdog had nothing to do with salaries as long as the government had the money.

Ismail added that those earning less than Rs1.2mn annually would have the protection of the government.

In July 2019, Pakistan had signed a 39-month EFF worth $6 billion but the IMF had stopped the program when the previous government went back on its commitments.

The government is currently not only seeking the revival of the program, but an expansion in the size and duration.

The federal government currently seeks to have the budget for the next fiscal year passed by the National Assembly.

The IMF has raised concerns about the budget, and has said that the revenue measures were insufficient to deliver over Rs7tn target.

The government seeks to have the budget passed in the National Assembly on June 27-28.