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Ishaq Dar cancels US trip as political crisis worsens

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  • Dar cites “domestic state of political affairs” as major reason.
  • Finance minister was also expected to visit UAE on his way to US.
  • A delegation will represent Pakistan at WB-IMF spring meeting now.

Despite Pakistan trying to make all-out efforts to woo the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to release a $1.1 billion loan tranche, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar cancelled his trip to the United States.

Source told Geo News that the finance minister has called off his trip citing the “domestic state of political affairs” as the reason.

Dar was expected to attend the spring meetings of the World Bank-IMF that were taking place from April 10 to 16 in Washington.

Meanwhile, he was also scheduled to meet the IMF management for holding talks regarding the removal of bottlenecks for the revival of the derailed $6.5 billion programme.

Islamabad has been negotiating with the IMF since the end of January for the release of $1.1 billion from a $6.5 billion bailout package agreed upon in 2019. To unlock the funding, the government has cut back on subsidies, removed an artificial cap on the exchange rate, added taxes and raised fuel prices.

However, assurances from friendly nations for additional funds have delayed the agreement.

The finance czar was also expected to visit UAE on his way to the US where he was to hold talks with the officials for getting confirmation on another $1 billion deposit from them, which may pave the way for striking the staff-level agreement with the IMF.

While Dar pulled out of the trip, a delegation from Pakistan — including Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh and Economic Affairs Secretary Kazim Niaz — will attend the spring meets of WB-IMF. The delegation will hold talks with the IMF officials on the sideline of the meetings to woo them to release the next tranche to Pakistan.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad will also accompany the Pakistani delegation visiting the US.

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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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