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IMF urges cash-strapped Pakistan to mobilise domestic tax revenues

IMF urges cash-strapped Pakistan to mobilise domestic tax revenues
July 22
16:23 2019

WASHINGTON: The IMF has urged Pakistan to mobilise domestic tax revenues to provide for the social and development spending and place debt on a downward trend as the cash-strapped country is seeking bailout packages from global lenders to help its ailing economy return to “sustainable growth”.

The statement of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Acting Managing Director David Lipton came after he met Prime Minister Imran Khan who is on a three-day official visit to the US at the invitation of President Donald Trump.

“I highlighted the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue now and on into the future to provide reliably for needed social and development spending, while placing debt on a firm downward trend,” Lipton said Sunday.

He said that they discussed recent economic developments and the implementation of the authority’s economic reform programme supported by the IMF.

“Their programme aims to stabilise the economy, strengthen institutions and thereby put Pakistan on a path of sustainable and balanced growth,” Lipton said.

The IMF, together with other international partners, is working closely with the government of Pakistan to support the implementation of the authorities’ economic reform programme, he said.

Recently, the IMF cleared a USD 6 billion bailout package to cash-strapped Pakistan to overcome economic difficulties.

Pakistan, which currently has a currency reserve of less than USD 8 billion — enough to cover only 1.7 months of imports — approached the Washington-based IMF in August 2018 for a bailout package after the Imran Khan government took over.

The IMF early this month formally approved the USD 6 billion loan to Pakistan, which is facing “significant” economic challenges on the back of “large” fiscal and financial needs and “weak and unbalanced” growth.

Pakistan has so far received billions in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year. PTI

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