Govt to raise Rs215 billion in new taxes to revive IMF deal

Govt to raise Rs215 billion in new taxes to revive IMF deal

Islamabad (Web Desk): Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday expressed the confidence that the 9th review with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the extended fund facility will soon be concluded.

Winding up discussion on the budget 2023-24 in the National Assembly today, the minister recalled that the country demonstrated complete compliance on all prior actions but due to the gap on external financing, it could not be materialized.

He, however, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held two meetings with the managing director of IMF in Paris recently during which it was agreed that both the sides will make a last ditch effort to complete the pending review.

The finance minister said both sides held consultations over the last three days.

"We have agreed to take additional taxation measures of Rs215 billion, clarifying that it will not burden the poor people," Dar said, adding that the government also agreed to reduce current expenditures by Rs85 billion.

He made it clear that this reduction will not affect the annual development plan as well as salaries and pensions of government employees. He said the IMF has agreed to our stand.

Ishaq Dar said that the government believes in complete transparency that is why the details of the meetings with the IMF are being shared with the public.

"Once the agreement is reached with the IMF, it will also be uploaded on the website of the finance ministry," he said.

The minister said that  as a result of the understanding reached with the IMF, the annual Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) tax collection target is being enhanced from Rs9,200 billion to 9,415 billion.

"The total outlay of the budget will now be Rs14,480 billion". the finance minister said, expressing the confident that these measures will also help reduce the fiscal deficit.