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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Miftah Ismail denies link between fuel price hike, IMF accord

The minister says the Fund had not demanded to increase the fuel prices, but it was a result of global inflation.

PML-N leader and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Tuesday asserted that the hike in prices of petroleum products has nothing to do with International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions.
Ismail rejected PTI’s notion that the PTI notion that the fuel prices were increased to revive IMF programme while briefing the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The minister said that the global lender had not demanded to increase the fuel prices, but it was a result of global inflation.
In a major breakthrough, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday night reached an understanding on the federal budget for 2022-23, which lead to revival of the extended fund facility (EFF).

The deal was secured during a virtual meet between IMF staff mission and the Pakistani economic team, led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

The authorities committed to generate Rs436 billion more taxes and increase petroleum levy gradually up to Rs50 per litre, according to sources.

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Acknowledging that important progress, IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, Esther Perez Ruiz sale on Wednesday, “Discussions between the IMF staff and the authorities on policies to strengthen macroeconomic stability in the coming year continue.”

Dawn cited to government sources as saying that “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.

According to Geo News, sources told that the government has also agreed “to slap Rs1,200 tax on salary earner of Rs50,000 to Rs100,000. The government made all-out efforts to convince the IMF but failed to do so. The FBR target has been proposed to be increased from Rs7,004 billion to Rs7,442 billion for the next fiscal. The expenditure target was revised downwards, so the revenue surplus of Rs152 billion would be achieved.”