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Sixth review to be presented to IMF board on January 12: finance ministry

  • Finance Ministry says Pakistan will fulfill condition imposed by IMF as prior action before date set to present sixth review.
  • Says tax exemption of Rs350 billion will be withdrawn through mini-budget.
  • Says SBP’s Autonomy Bill will also be passed through parliamentary approval.

ISLAMABAD: The sixth review of the Extended Fund Facility will be presented to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board on January 12, the finance ministry confirmed Thursday, as the government gets ready for the passage of the mini-budget.

Officials from the finance ministry said Pakistan will fulfill the condition imposed by the IMF as prior action before the date set to present the review.

They said that a tax exemption of Rs350 billion will be withdrawn through the mini-budget. The SBP’s Autonomy Bill, meanwhile, will also be passed through parliamentary approval, the officials added.

The government had recently retracted the mini-budget, including the Tax Laws (Fourth) Amendment Bill, for the time being from the federal cabinet after the IMF staff turned down the government’s proposal that it would present the budget through a presidential ordinance.

The IMF has demanded Pakistani authorities seek parliamentary approval for the passage of the Tax Laws (Fourth) Amendment Bill and SBP’s Autonomy Bill.

A report published by The News stated that officials, who represented the Pakistan government in the talks, said that the IMF imposed a condition that Pakistan seeks parliament approval as prior actions before placing its request for completion of the sixth review and release of $1 billion tranche before the Fund’s Executive Board.

The government is set to present a Rs360 billion mini-budget before the Parliament later this week for withdrawal of General Sales Tax (GST) exemptions and slapping standard rate of 17% on import of essential consumable and industrial goods.

‘Currency devaluation due to economic growth makes Pakistan approach IMF for loans’

Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that as Pakistan started achieving economic growth, the current account got disturbed owing to the import of machinery which ultimately devalued the local currency and made the country approach IMF for loans.

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The country can only come out of this cycle unless it boosts its exports and allows wealth creation, he had added.

The premier was addressing the inauguration ceremony of Lahore Technopolis, a special technology zone.

He said the project would help provide incentives to the tech industry and bring ease for businessmen, in accordance with the government’s vision.

If incentivized and facilitated, the technology industry could help overcome the current account deficit of the country by boosting exports as well as addressing the issue of unemployment, he had said.

Special Technology Zones being developed all across the country would be home to Science & Technology Parks, manufacturing units, research and development centers of global tech companies and software houses. It will also feature, universities, incubators, accelerators and other ecosystem players.

Before Lahore, Islamabad Technopolis was also announced earlier this year.

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