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IMF ‘not interested’ in releasing loan money to Pakistan: Miftah Ismail

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  • Ishaq Dar has “sabotaged IMF agreement”, says ex-finance czar.
  • Miftah Ismail also claims IMF doesn’t trust Pakistan now.
  • “If Pakistan defaults it will be a grave situation.” 

As Pakistan continues to woo the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure the much-needed bailout from the global lender, former finance minister Miftah Ismail claimed that the Washington-based lender is “not interested” in giving money to the cash-strapped nation.

Pakistan is now the only South Asian country that’s yet to secure a bailout from the multilateral lender as Sri Lanka clinched financing this week and Bangladesh pushes on with carrying out IMF-mandated reforms.

Pakistan has taken tough measures including increasing taxes and energy prices, and allowing its currency to weaken to restart a $6.5 billion IMF loan package. The funds will offer some relief to a nation still reeling from a dollar shortage that has raised the probability of the economy slipping into a recession ahead of elections this year.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah, while speaking during a session titled ‘Pakistan in the midst of crisis’ organised by a private university in Karachi, said that when he was heading the Ministry of Finance, he spoke to the IMF officials and assured them that Pakistan would not make false statements or violate the agreement; however, when Ishar Dar was sworn in “he sabotaged the agreement”.

He recalled that Pakistan has three times made sovereign commitments and has then gone back on them.

“Now the IMF is not interested in giving money to Pakistan,” he said, emphasising that the Washington-based lender doesn’t trust the government in Islamabad. 

‘Petrol subsidy formula not effective’

Regarding the petrol relief subsidy announced by the government on Sunday, Miftah said that he believes this formula would not be effective.

“We provide subsidies on petrol by taking loans,” he said. Since the government announced the petroleum subsidy — which initially amounted to Rs50 per litre amount and was later increased to Rs100 per litre — several red flags were raised as analysts and economic experts have been criticising the move as it may jeopardise the ongoing struggle to convince the IMF board.

IMF’s resident representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz had also clarified that said the Washington-based lender wasn’t consulted on the government’s plan to raise fuel prices for wealthier motorists to finance a subsidy for lower-income people.

“Fund staff are seeking greater details on the scheme in terms of its operation, cost, targeting, protections against fraud and abuse, and offsetting measures, and will carefully discuss these elements with the authorities,” she said.

This is not the first time petrol price subsidies have been a sticking point for the IMF. The previous government led by former premier Imran Khan had given out petrol subsidies, which stalled the IMF programme last year.

Warning of the risks, Miftah mentioned that if Pakistan defaults it will be a grave situation for the country as people belonging to the rich segment will bear the brunt but the poor people won’t be able to make ends meet.

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In four months, FBR found Rs 800 billion in fraudulent tax refunds.

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Over the last four months, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has discovered a Rs800 billion tax refund scam.

The Inland Revenue and Customs reforms were considered at a review meeting that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif convened. During this time, the board allegedly discovered the Rs800 billion tax refund fraud.

According to the conference, there are 83,579 outstanding tax cases totaling Rs3.2 trillion, of which about 63 cases, or Rs44 billion, have been settled as a consequence of various government measures.

In an effort to speed up the resolution of tax issues, the prime minister also ordered the creation of 100 tribunals.

The gathering also featured the identification of around five million new taxpayers, of whom fifteen thousand retailers have enrolled since April 1, 2024.

View more:More than 46,000 traders have signed up for the Tajir Dost Scheme: FBR.

The prime minister has instructed the tax authorities to promptly include the five billion tax evaders in the tax system and has placed a strong emphasis on working with merchants to improve system efficiency.

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PM Gives FBR Instructions To Speed Up Digitization Work: An investigation revealed a Rs. 800 billion tax refund scam.

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Noting favorable results of FBR’s digitization efforts, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif revealed an 800 billion rupee tax refund scam discovered in the last four months.

Shehbaz Sharif stressed improving the tax refund system further while presiding over an important meeting on FBR reforms and digitization in Islamabad.

Regretting the delays in putting various reform programs into action, he emphasized that FBR changes had the potential to increase income.

There is a total of 3.2 trillion rupees worth of ongoing tax cases in various courts and tribunals, according to the briefing given to the conference. With 63 lawsuits worth 44 billion rupees resolved in the last four months, the current government has taken action to resolve these outstanding matters.

The prime minister has directed that efforts be made to attract as many of the 4.9 million potential taxpayers who are wealthy into the tax system as possible without putting undue strain on the impoverished.

Fifty thousand merchants have enrolled so far for the mobile phone retailer registration effort, which began in April.

He also emphasized the necessity for a consolidated approach for continuing reform initiatives and the complete digitization of FBR’s fraud detection and investigation department.

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Mining in Balochistan: Mari Pvt Ltd Secures Exploration License

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Licenses for mineral prospecting in the Chagai District of Balochistan have been obtained by Mari Mining Company Private Limited.

501 square kilometers and 513 square kilometers, respectively, are covered by the licenses that the Directorate General Mines and Minerals Balochistan awarded.

Mari Petroleum Company Limited has formed Mari Mining Company as a subsidiary. Major player in Pakistan’s natural gas sector, Mari Petroleum manages the country’s largest gas deposits in Sindh’s Dakhri Gas Field.

With a success record of 70%, which is much greater than many of its peers both domestically and internationally, Mari Petroleum is a major oil and gas exploration and production business.

Because of the efforts of organizations like the International Monetary Fund, Balochistan, a region rich in minerals and natural resources, is developing quickly.

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