Agreement with IMF likely in end-July: Tarin

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Jun 23, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator and ex-Finance minister Shaukat Tarin on Wednesday said that still many weeks were left in the revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of the IMF and an agreement could be reached towards the end of July.

Speaking here at a news conference, Tarin, however, prayed for the success of the move and remarked: “We pray that an agreement is reached with the IMF because this country belongs to us and we are nothing without this country. We hope that the government agrees to an agreement with the IMF that does not burden people.”

He emphasized that the work on the issue was currently under way and noted that a statement issued by the IMF said work on the deal was under way and some progress had been made. He said they would present the Economic and Monetary Policy Memorandum on Friday, how it could be said that the agreement had been reached. The PTI legislator explained that the economic and monetary policy would be a detailed document to be considered. “We want to hear that this agreement should be reached on a broader basis because there is frustration in the financial markets and there is decline after the stock market initially rose on Wednesday.”

He said that during the last 10-12 weeks, the government made several misrepresentations and kept changing its narrative, affecting its reputation in the stock market. He criticised the government policies and warned that the country was heading for a serious economic crisis and asked why they were ousted when all indicators were positive and the country was moving in the right direction.

About the government talks with the IMF, Tarin said the present rulers rejected the economic policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, which were progressive and had to widen the tax base. He said the PTI government had decided to collect more taxes from retailers through point of sale machines, but now the government has imposed a fixed tax on retailers as it was their sector. He regretted that the rulers had gone back to ‘old Pakistan’ that means they would never move towards the value-added tax mode as the government had provided massive protection to retailers.

He questioned how the government would raise more than Rs 400 billion in tax under the agreement with the IMF. He contended that the rulers would do what they did in the past. They would impose higher taxes on those who were already paying huge taxes. He urged the coalition government to widen the tax collection base, claiming that the PTI government had identified 43 million people who were not paying taxes.