Govt-IMF meet on Rs200bn new taxes, hike in power, gas tariffs

ISLAMABAD: Talks between Pakistani officials and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation are underway with the meeting expected to focus on the imposition of new taxes worth Rs200 billion, among other issues.

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An IMF mission is currently on a visit to Pakistan to review the economy’s performance in line with the conditions related to the Fund’s loan programme. The successful review would pave the way for the release of the third tranche under the $6 billion extended fund facility.

Today’s meeting is likely to focus on the imposition of new taxes worth Rs200 billion. The government is likely to take a decision regarding the hike in power and gas tariffs to eliminate subsidies for crucial ease of monetary pressure on the budget, the publication stated.

The policy level talks would also determine the revised tax revenue target of the Federal Board of Revenue. The meeting will also take up measures letting regulatory bodies, Nepra and Ogra work independently.

The visiting delegation will also be provided details of loss-making institutions and roadmap for their privatisation. New slabs for the power sector are likely to be introduced as well.

Amid growing concerns over the record inflation and its impact on the masses, the PTI government has told the Fund that the steps taken in this regard would stabilise the food prices in the coming months.

In an earlier meeting, Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar told the IMF mission the government was taking all the necessary measures for the management of food inflation.

“A bumper wheat crop is expected this year and there will be no issue of wheat supply in the coming months,” the minister informed them.

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