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Miftah Ismail says Pakistan could get $2 billion from IMF

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  • Miftah Ismail says may receive $2 billion instead of $1 billion from IMF.
  • Pakistan receives MEFP from IMF for seventh, eighth reviews.
  • This critical development signals two sides have reached an agreement.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Tuesday that Pakistan could get $2 billion instead of $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The finance minister made the comments during his address at the “Turn Around Pakistan” conference after he confirmed Pakistan has received the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) from the IMF for the seventh and eighth reviews.

This is a critical development signalling that the two sides have reached an agreement. The draft MEFP is a prerequisite to paving the way towards striking a staff-level agreement.

Now that Pakistan has received this document, it will be analysed and scrutinised for three days by the country’s economic team.

The finance minister and State Bank of Pakistan governor will then sign it if no major problem is found.

The staff-level agreement will then be presented before the IMF’s Executive Board next month for approval, after which the tranche will be released.

The MEFP may be considered as the crux of decisions negotiated between Pakistan and the Fund because it includes policy actions and structural benchmarks the two sides agreed on.

Pakistan reached IMF accord after US help: sources

Earlier, sources had said Pakistan reached the accord with IMF with the “help” of the United States, as Islamabad made major progress on the discussions held with the lender regarding the federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23.

Speaking on Geo News programme Geo Pakistan, anchor Shahzad Iqbal said that according to his information, Islamabad did get benefit from reaching out to the US because IMF’s attitude earlier was very rigid and the Fund was putting harsh conditions and probably would have refused to close a deal with the country.

However, the anchorperson added, the US pressure made this possible for Pakistan, but there were still no concessions in conditions.

Major progress in talks with Pakistan: IMF

Last Tuesday, the Pakistani authorities and the IMF evolved a broader agreement on budget 2022-23 to revise upward the Federal Board of Revenue’s target and slash expenditures to achieve a revenue surplus in the next fiscal year.

The next day, IMF Resident Representative to Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz said that discussions between the Fund and Pakistan are underway and major progress had been made regarding the budget.

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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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