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Pakistan to exceed revenue target in FY22: Shaukat Tarin

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  • Tarin says revenue will hit Rs6.1tr, compared to a target of Rs5.8tr.
  • He is confident of defending PM’s subsidy package during IMF review.
  • “IMF shouldn’t have any objections on this,” finance minister says.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will exceed the revenue target set in the annual budget for the current financial year, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Wednesday.

Tarin said revenue would hit Rs6.1 trillion ($34.2 billion), compared to a target of Rs5.8 trillion.

“Despite that, I gave the target of 5.8 trillion, I’m going to hit at 6.1 trillion, and I’m tracking,” he told a news conference in Islamabad.

He said a recent fuel and electricity subsidy package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan would be partially financed by the extra revenue, which may cause the fiscal deficit to slightly rise or fall.

“If due to that the deficit may go a bit 0.5% up or down, that may be,” he said.

Read more: Shaukat Tarin opposes PM Imran Khan’s public outburst against EU envoys

Embattled PM Imran Khan, facing a no-confidence move to oust him from office by opposition parties, announced a cut in petrol and electricity prices on Monday despite a steep rise in the global oil market, pledging to freeze the new rates until the next budget in June.

The subsidy will cost around $1.5 billion, a big number for Pakistan to defend during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 7th review, which already has started, of a $6 billion rescue package agreed in 2019.

The south Asian country had to undertake fiscal tightening measures to pass its last IMF review, which was delayed by months as the government struggled to complete prior action required by the lender to release $1 billion in February.

The finance ministry has said that Pakistan was confident it will be able to defend its subsidy package during the IMF review, which Tarin also reiterated.

“We are doing it with our own revenues, which has improved. We have a space for that,” he said. “So, IMF shouldn’t have any objections on this.”

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Over 600 points are added by PSX in intraday trading.

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Tuesday’s lunchtime trading on the Pakistan Stock Exchange saw favorable activity.

During intraday trading, the benchmark KSE-100 Index increased by 672.08 points, or 1.11%, and was trading at 61131.82 levels.

The KSE-30 Index was trading at 20,558.31 after adding 211.46 points, or 1.04%.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had another round of discussions for the establishment of a central government the day before the rally in the local stock exchange.

In the meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has issued a warning, stating that the likelihood of default would rise in the event of a drawn-out discussion or the inability to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, which reported net foreign reserves of $8 billion as of February 9, 2024, up from a low of $2.9 billion on February 3, 2023, Pakistan’s external situation has improved recently.

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The smartphone app “Tajir Dost” to tax Pakistani businesses is anticipated to launch on February 22.

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The sources stated that the caretaker administration aims to include 3.5 million shops in the tax net by use of the “Tajir Dost” app.

They said that Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister, has instructed the relevant authorities to conclude their engagement with the retailing bodies within a few days.

The introduction of the “Tajir Dost” smartphone app to impose taxes on several merchants was authorized earlier this month by the acting federal administration.

The smartphone application, created by Pakistan Revenue Authority Limited (PRAL), a division of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), is intended to serve as a registration tool for shops and dealers throughout the nation.

The app’s database will be updated with the traders’ information who have already registered with the FBR.

Previously, in December 2023, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) made history by collecting Rs1.021 trillion. After deducting refunds of Rs 38 billion that were given out that month, the FBR’s net collection increased to Rs 984 billion.

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SBP confirms the choice to use new currency notes was not influenced by the IMF.

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In response to recent rumours, Saleem Ullah, the deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), said on Thursday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had no influence over the decision to release new currency notes.

Saleem Ullah underlined in an interview that printing new notes is a regular procedure carried out every 15 to 20 years to maintain the currency’s integrity.

He stressed that, in contrast to rumours, the deficit is expected to decline in the next fiscal year, in line with the goals of the new monetary policy.

“Every 15 to 20 years, new notes are printed,” he clarified. The new currency’s goal is to keep the note’s integrity intact.”

The SBP assured the public earlier this week that the current banknote series will continue to be in circulation despite the introduction of new currency notes, which it intended to implement over the course of the next two years.

Regarding the latest series of currency notes, the deputy governor clarified that they were launched in 2005 and were in circulation for three years.

He admitted that the procedure was time-consuming and estimated that because of the careful preparation required, it would take around two years to issue the first note.

In addition, he guaranteed that the new banknotes will have improved security measures because they would be made using contemporary technology. He gave information regarding the SBP’s effort to get public feedback on the new currency notes’ design, highlighting the fact that recommendations were being actively sought from the populace.

“There are three prizes for each denomination, and there are a total of seven denominations, hence 21 prizes,” he disclosed, highlighting the process’ openness. First place is worth Rs 1 million, second place is worth Rs 500,000, and third place is worth Rs 300,000.

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