ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi has refused to issue an ordinance to enforce mini-budget to meet the conditions of the IMF.
The president has asked the government to take the issue to the parliament and discuss it there.
In a meeting at Awan-e-Sadder in Islamabad on Tuesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed President Dr Arif Alvi about the progress in negotiations with the IMF.
The president appreciated the efforts being made by the government and expressed the hope that the government of Pakistan would fulfil its commitments made with the IMF.
The finance minister informed the president that the government wanted to raise additional revenue through taxes by issuing an ordinance.
However, the president advised the minister to take the issue to the parliament and it would be appropriate to take the house in confidence, adding that the session of the house should immediately be called, and pass the bill without any delay after the detail deliberation and discussion.
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The meeting also discussed the imposition of Rs170 billion in additional taxes through a mini-budget. The federal cabinet is likely to approve the Rs170 billion today.
The incumbent government has accelerated implementing ‘tough conditions’ tabled by International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) stalled for months.
According to details, the Fund and Pakistan moved closer to the revival of their loan prgramme as Islamabad has agreed to several conditions including increasing energy prices and improve tax collection, as demanded by the IMF.
According to the sources, that the federal cabinet has approved the revised circular debt management plan through circulation, under which the government will end subsidies and jack up electricity price by Rs7.91 per unit in four quarterly adjustments – Feb-March 2023, March-May, June-August and September-November.
The sources further claimed that the federal cabinet also approved the withdrawal of electricity subsidy of Rs65 billion given to the exporters and farmers, with effect from March 2023. The subsidy of Rs12-13 paise per unit on electricity given to export sector will be withdrawn, they added.
Moreover, almost Rs250 billion will be recovered from electricity consumers by June 2023. Under the circular debt management plan, the government would impose a surcharge of Rs3.39 paise per unit.