IMF, Pakistan agree to not introduce mini-budget

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Islamabad: The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s visiting mission, and the Senate and National Assembly’s Standing Committees on finance have completed the second review of the USD 6 billion bailout program — with both sides agreeing to not introduce the mini-budget or raise taxes during this fiscal year (2019-20), according to news sources.

Second IMF tranche received; reserves soar to USD 18 bn

The talks between the IMF mission and Pakistani authorities will continue today, with the previous meeting expressing concerns over the massive revenue shortfall. According to sources, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has proposed an amount of PKR 4.7 trillion as of the maximum that can be collected this fiscal year; whereas the IMF is insistent on targeting an amount of PKR 4.9 trillion instead.

IMF asked to lower tax collection target

Furthermore, the IMF has asked Pakistan to decrease import tariffs, promote General Sales Tax (GST) harmonization, take responsibility for underfunded Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and encourage free-trade agreements. The officials reported that IMF estimated that SDGs would eventually cost PKR 6.196 trillion by 2030, and expressed a wish to create additional fiscal space as a result.