ISLAMABAD, Feb. 15 (PTI) The cash-strapped Pakistani government on Wednesday introduced a currency bill in parliament to raise taxes by Rs 17,000 crore by June this year as the IMF gets its next tranche of agreed loans. part of the condition.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has tabled the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023 in the National Assembly – the lower house – which is mandated to legislate on currency issues.
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Pakistani and IMF officials held 10 days of marathon talks in Islamabad from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9 but failed to reach an agreement as the fund demanded action before any agreement could be signed to free the $1.1 billion of the $7 billion deal struck in January. 2019.
Speaking in the House of Representatives after introducing the bill, Dahl said the government understands the hardships of ordinary people and is doing its best not to further burden them with new taxes.
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He also accused Imran Khan’s former Pakistan Justice Instigation (PTI) government of ruining the national economy. “When we were in government, Pakistan’s economy was the 24th largest in the world, but now it has dropped to 47th,” he said.
Dahl also said last year’s devastating floods had also wreaked havoc on the economy and posed huge problems for the government.
The government was forced to pass legislation through parliament after President Arif Alvi on Tuesday refused to issue a decree raising the new tax and “advised” the finance minister to give parliament confidence in the Rs 17,000-crore tax.
The cabinet met after the president’s “rejection” and approved the bill later in the evening after a debate. It also called an emergency session of parliament and passed new bills.
The Federal Revenue Board (FBR) issued an order after a cabinet meeting to increase the federal excise duty on locally manufactured cigarettes, which will generate up to Rs 6,000 crore in taxes on tobacco products, while the Finance Secretary issued a circular to increase the general sales tax hike by 1 % to 18% to raise another Rs 5,500 crore.
The remaining Rs 5,500 crore is used to meet IMF needs of Rs 17,000 crore to collect (supplement) the 2023 Act by raising excise duties on air tickets and sugary drinks and increasing withholding tax rates through the treasury.
Officials from Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are now meeting virtually to hammer out a deal to provide much-needed funding to shore up foreign exchange, which fell below $3 billion this month.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)