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Petrol price to go down today, IMF has no objection, says Miftah Ismail

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  • Finance Minister Miftah Ismail says Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wants to give immediate relief to public.
  • Says prices of petroleum products will be lowered today instead of waiting till July 15.
  • Says that summary of reduction in petrol prices has been received and the Fund has no objection to it.

Finance Minister Muftah Ismail has said that petrol will be made cheaper today (Thursday) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has no objection to it.

The Pakistani authorities and the IMF finally reached a staff-level agreement over the release of $1.17 billion to support the country’s fragile economy, the international money lender revealed Thursday morning.

Talking to the media in Islamabad, Miftah said that the prices of petroleum products will be lowered today instead of waiting till July 15 as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wants to give immediate relief to the people. He said that the finance ministry has received a summary from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) recommending a cut in prices and the Fund has no objection to it.

Congratulating the nation on reaching an agreement with the IMF, Miftah said that the nation stood by PM Shehbaz Sharif in difficult decisions.

“Nations see difficult times and the Pakistani nation understands the situation during crises but now the time to give relief to the nation after difficult times has come,” the minister said.

What could be the new petrol prices?

In line with the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to reduce the prices of petroleum products, the finance ministry has started deliberations after receiving the summary from Ogra.

According to details, the ministry has worked out the reduction in Mogas (petrol) price by Rs15 per litre and diesel by Rs33.99 per litre.

The new price of petrol has been proposed at Rs219.70 per litre after jacking up the petroleum levy (PL) byRs5 per litre to Rs15 per litre, from Rs10 per litre, and diesel Rs241.30 per litre after increasing the petroleum levy to Rs10 per litre from the existing Rs5 per litre.

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An increase in tax was made on restaurant card payments.

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After 15 years, the SRB reduced the service tax that 58 hotels and restaurants in Karachi could have charged on debit and credit card purchases to 15%. This action is a part of the Sindh budget, which was designed to make eating out less expensive for customers.

Prior to this, Sindh’s tax on credit and debit card purchases was lowered from 15% to 8%.

Officials from the SRB have further stated that the service was made available for input adjustment of restaurant tax payments. With this step, businesses will be able to efficiently handle their tax responsibilities and the tax process would be made simpler.

Only a few eateries have been given authority to remove the lower tax rate, even though this tax facility has been reversed.

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The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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