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IMF deal expected in a day or two, claims Miftah Ismail

20 Jun, 2022
<p>Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the income rebate of 1.2 million will be maintained. APP file photo</p>

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the income rebate of 1.2 million will be maintained. APP file photo

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Miftah Ismael said on Monday that the government-International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal was expected in a day or two.

Talking to the media in Islamabad, Ismail dispelled the impression that there was any deadlock with the Fund over the payment of salaries. He said the government planned to tax the rich people while exempting those who were poor.

“IMF has no objection over government’s step to raise the salaries of employees,” the finance czar said, adding that the income rebate of 1.2 million would be maintained and the government would give relief to the poor.

However, he added that total income tax relief worth Rs47 billion would see a “small reduction”.

“The budget 2022-23 will provide relief to the low-income segment and high-income earners will be taxed.”

There is a lot of uproar over the government’s negotiations with the IMF these days as there has been an unprecedented increase of Rs84 per litre in the price of petrol by the government in just two weeks.

The hike in petroleum product prices is one of the conditions laid down by the Fund for the deal. The Fund has also demanded excessive taxation from the government, which certainly will have a direct impact on the lives of ordinary people.

On June 14, the global lender expressed its concerns over budget asking Pakistan to take more strict measures in terms of tight fiscal discipline if it wanted the revival of the $6 billion loan programme.

The government had agreed to accept the demand of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) to withdraw the income tax exemption proposed in the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.

The IMF resident representative in Pakistan had stated that Pakistan would need to introduce additional measures to budget FY2022-23 in line with the key objectives of the bailout programme.

The government, however, had decided that the relief given to the low-paid classes will be maintained.

The government was considering raising the amount of income tax on the people receiving monthly salaries of above Rs500,000, the sources privy to the matter said.

The consultations with the IMF are still going on and efforts are being made not to burden the people with income tax, drawing monthly salaries between Rs10,000 and Rs200,000.