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Ishaq Dar to visit Washington to attend IMF, WB meetings

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  • Dar-led team to attend annual meeting of Bretton Woods Institutions.
  • Dar may present fresh proposals before IMF, WB for dollar inflows.
  • Pakistan, IMF to discuss possibility of combining 10th, 11th reviews.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will be leading a high-powered delegation to the US which will attend the upcoming annual spring meeting of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), known as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, from April 10 to 16.

The finance minister, along with an official delegation comprising the Finance and Economic Affairs Division secretaries and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor, might present fresh proposals before the IMF and World Bank for providing dollar inflows.

During the meetings, according to a The News report, Pakistan and the IMF would also discuss the possibility of combining the remaining 10th and 11th reviews under the $6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme in case the pending 9th Review is completed.

The IMF programme, signed in 2019, is going to expire on June 30, 2023, and under the set guidelines, the programme cannot be extended beyond the deadline.

It is yet to be seen how the two sides would proceed with the completion of the bailout programme when the 10th Review has already got delayed.

The pending 9th Review was scheduled to be completed in December 2022 and the 10th Review should have been kick-started from February 2023. The 11th Review was scheduled to commence on May 3.

Now the delayed decision on the 9th Review would increase the cost of rectifying the situation.

There is no easy solution available to fix the ailing economy of Pakistan and the government is of the view that they have taken all the tough decisions for reviving the stalled IMF programme.

Now the Fund is seeking verifications from the bilateral friends of Pakistan, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, if they would provide additional assistance of $6 billion till the end of June 2023.

The SBP foreign exchange reserves stood at $4.2 billion, which is not even sufficient for meeting obligations on account of foreign debt servicing including principal amount and markup.

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The inaugural flight of Azerbaijan Airlines is between Baku and Karachi.

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The national airline of Azerbaijan launched direct flights from Baku to Karachi today. There will be two weekly flights on this route, on Thursdays and Sundays.

The first flight will land in Karachi, and Azerbaijan’s ambassador, Khazar Farhadov, will be there to greet it.

This evening also marks the departure of the inaugural flight from Karachi to Baku, in addition to the arrival of the flight from Baku.

Azerbaijan Airlines said last month that it would be growing its network and flight operations in Pakistan.

Aviation insiders have verified that Azerbaijan Airlines is preparing to launch service to Karachi in the coming month of April.

In addition to its current services in Islamabad and Lahore, the airline plans to launch its Karachi route on April 18, with the inaugural flight anticipated to depart on that date.

Azerbaijan Airlines has been given permission to operate flights on the Karachi route, according to sources within the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Following a bilateral agreement between the two nations, Azerbaijan Airlines has been given permission to extend its operations in Pakistan.

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Fly Jinnah opens a new route internationally.

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Two weekly flights will be the starting frequency of the new route, which will connect the two cities.

According to a representative for Fly Jinnah, the company is pleased to announce the opening of a third international route from Islamabad to Muscat, the capital city of Oman, marking another significant milestone after the successful debut of flights from Islamabad and Lahore to Sharjah.

According to him, this development is in line with our goal of giving our clients more options for reasonably priced, value-driven local and international air travel.

The airline serves five main cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta. Its fleet consists of five Airbus A320 aircraft, all of which are contemporary.

In addition to the current flight path to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, this new route expands Fly Jinnah’s network of foreign destinations.

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Tajir Dost app: traders don’t seem interested in registering

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To tax retailers in Pakistan, the Tajir Dost app was released. The sources stated that the government hopes to tax 3.5 million merchants through the app.

Ajmal Baloch, the president of All-Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran, stated that he made reservations with FBR on the SRO within a week.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), according to him, cannot be a “Tajir Dost” because of its unethical actions.

Baloch believed that since electricity bills allow traders to pay a predetermined advance income tax, further taxes are unnecessary.

The trader, according to him, is already paying thirteen different kinds of taxes on the commercial meter. “A trader already pays between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 20,000 in taxes annually, but you are requesting Rs. 1,200 per month in taxes.”

Mr. Ajmal summoned representatives of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to a meeting with the trade associations to talk about the indirect taxes that the merchants are paying.

Additionally, he claimed that FBR officers are charging the traders, the majority of whom are less educated, “monthly charges.”

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