Some IMF’s conditions are very tough, will renegotiate: Tarin

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Secured Transactions Amend Bill deferred


Ijaz Kakakhel
Islamabad

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Monday hinted at renegotiating an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, saying that the Fund has committed injustices to them and they will take up matters with them.

Briefing the National Assembly Standing committee on Finance, the minister said that they would take up the matter regarding increase in tariff with the IMF as it could lead to further inflation in the country.

Currently the government was in IMF program and some of its conditions were very tough adding that the government would talk to the IMF to reduce such tough conditions keeping in view the impact of Covid-19.

Increase in tariff like power, gas, levy, etc. could not yield any positive result. Such increase in tariff might have increased corruption in these departments, Tarin told the law-makers in briefing on economic situation of the country.

He lamented that maintaining the interest rate at 13.25 percent was a grave mistake besides also announcing to privatize institutions that the government was unable to
run.

“This is not government job to run businesses as there are experts in private sectors who may perform best if given the chance,” he maintained.

“The growth rate will improve with the moving economy,” he said while stressing the need to broaden the tax net in the country. “We could not force people to pay more taxes,” he said.

He accepted that there were problems in the current tax structures
and mostly those people were taxed more who are already in the ambit of tax.

The Finance Minister claimed that utmost efforts were made to simplify the existing tax structure which help them to submit tax return by themselves.

In the coming budget for
2021-22, tax net would be broaden and those would be brought under tax net who could not pay taxes earlier.

Shaukat Tarin further said that income tax never help the government, therefore, efforts would be made to improve sales tax, which has currently 17 percent, which he described as the highest.

He claimed that in the coming budget, the people will see radical changes in tax structure He said that agriculture and industries could improve the country’s economic growth.

“Pakistan only spends 0.25 percent of its GDP on the housing sector,” the finance minister said while emphasizing the need to improving the living standard of the
public.

He said that there was a lack of proper planning regarding the economy in the country and suggested introducing a comprehensive mechanism for 20 to 30 years for stable economic growth.

Shaukat Tarin shared that 85 percent of the country’s income is spent in nine cities of the country.

“What is the fault of people living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and South Punjab,” he asked.

He also informed the committee that allocation for
Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for 2021-22 would be enhanced and will focus on development of backward areas of the country.