The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proposed that Pakistan open its economy to the rest of the world by reducing import tariffs, ensuring General Sales Tax harmonization and signing new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) – recommendations that fall outside the purview of the main application of $ 6 billion dollar loan program.
The IMF team at a joint meeting of the Senate and National Assembly standing committees on finance briefed the parliamentarians on Pakistan’s trade growth, GST harmonization and proposed that Pakistan should spend Rs6.2 trillion on sustainable development goals (SDGs) over the next 10 years.
The joint meeting was co-chaired by Senator Farooq H Naek and MNA Faizullah Kamoka. The IMF’s deputy director of the Middle East and Central Asia led the fund’s team.
Usually, the head of mission in Pakistan represents the IMF delegation, but this time the IMF has raised the level of the deputy director, who joined the talks underway earlier this week. Informed sources said the IMF team put SDGs costing at Rs6.196 trillion until 2030 and wanted the creation of additional fiscal space.
This occurred amid media reports that the Pakistani authorities and the IMF mission had completed the second review of the $ 6 billion bailout program and had agreed not to provide a mini-budget or increase taxes during the current financial year despite a massive shortfall. However, a finance ministry official said talks will continue on Thursday.
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17 November, 2019