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Pakistan Secures IMF Deal: Finance Ministry

In a breakthrough, Pakistan Secures IMF Deal, leading to the revival of the extended fund facility.

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IMF Deal
IMF Deal

In a breakthrough, Pakistan Secures IMF Deal, leading to the revival of the extended fund facility.

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached an understanding on the federal budget for 2022-23, leading to the revival of the extended fund facility (EFF) after authorities committed to generating Rs436 billion in more taxes and increasing the petroleum levy gradually up to Rs50 per litre.

The understanding was reached during a meeting, held via video link, between the IMF staff mission and the Pakistani economic team, led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

The IMF mission will finalise monetary targets with the State Bank over the next couple of days and, in the meantime, share the draft of a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy (MEFP).

The MEFP would also contain certain prior actions that would be necessary for implementation before the IMF board takes up Pakistan’s case for approval and the subsequent disbursement of about $1bn next month.

“We have now locked the budget in consultation with the IMF,” Finance Minister Ismail told journalists, adding that all budget-related issues had been settled with the Fund.

The IMF is also expected to issue a statement confirming substantial progress on the fiscal framework, the two sides agreed. Top government sources said that to win over the IMF mission, the Pakistani side had agreed to start charging on all POL products a petroleum development levy which will be gradually increased by Rs5 per month to reach a maximum of Rs50.

In yet another retreat, the government also agreed to impose 1pc poverty tax on firms earning Rs150 million, 2pc on those earning Rs200m, 3pc on over Rs250m and 4pc on Rs300m above. In the original budget, the government had set a 2pc poverty tax only on those earning Rs300m and above.

The government also agreed to do away with provisions for additional salaries and pensions, for which Rs200bn had been set aside as block allocation. Instead, a separate allocation of contingencies had been made but that would be strictly meant for emergencies likes floods and earthquake so that amount remains unspent.

Pakistan also committed to deliver a Rs152bn primary budget surplus, which means the revenues would finance all expenditures — other than interest payments — and still leave Rs152bn surplus in the national kitty.

The sources said the IMF team will now finalise targets for net international reserves and net domestic assets, but everything on part of the agreement had been settled. The IMF team would share its draft MEFP with the government on Friday, sources said.

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