Connect with us

pakistan

IMF asks Pakistan to ‘do more’ to unlock next loan tranche

Published

on

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has demanded cash-strapped Pakistan to boost its revenue generation by imposing further taxes in order to secure the ninth tranche of the $7 billion loan programme stalled since September last.

It emerged after a round of technical talks between the Pakistani authorities and the IMF delegation, which is visiting Pakistan for the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), concluded on Friday. 

The South Asian country is reeling from economic instability due to sharp decline in foreign exchange reserves which are barely enough to cover less than one-month import. Fresh statistics show the reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) dropped to a precariously low level of $3.09 billion in the week ending on Jan 27 owing to external debt repayments.

Reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.65bn, taking the country’s total liquid reserves to $8.74bn, the central bank said.

Advertisement

Amid the gloomy economic situation, the government is scrambling to revive the IMF’s loan programme. It has also expressed commitment to meet the conditions of the global lender. The recent nosedive in the value of the local currency against the dollar is an outcome of the implementation of the IMF condition regarding removal of cap on the currency exchange rate.

Sources said the IMF had asked Pakistan to impose new taxes worth Rs500 billion to overcome circular debt and consequence of slow privatisation procession. It would be impossible to meet the expenses if new taxes were not imposed, the IMF delegation told the Pakistani authorities. It had also demanded immediate increase in levy on diesel to achieve the tax collection target.

Sources said a final decision about imposition of sales tax on petroleum products would be taken in the policy-level talks between both sides. The finance official will later present the demands of the global lender to Prime Minster Shehbaz Sharif for approval.

On Friday, PM Shehbaz, in his address to the apex committee in Peshawar, revealed that the IMF was giving tough time to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his team as its conditions were beyond imagination.

Saying Pakistan was facing tough economic challenges, he said there was no other option except implementing the conditions of the IMF to revive the loan programme.

Advertisement

pakistan

Toshakhana case: Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi challenges NAB notices in IHC

Published

on

By

akistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi on Saturday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the call-up notices issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a reference regarding Toshakhana gifts.

The former first lady has challenged the notices served on her on March 16 and 17 through her lawyer, Khawaja Harris. She has made the NAB chairman, and additional director of NAB Rawalpindi respondents in the case.

Bushra Bibi had pleaded the court to declare the notices null and void. She also requested the high court to bar the NAB from taking any disciplinary action against her on the basis of the notices. The petitioner asked the court to stop NAB from converting the case inquiry into an investigation.

The development comes after she failed to appear before the anti-graft watchdog to join the inquiry proceedings in the reference.

Advertisement

A notice issued to Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi and others in the Toskhana case in February this year states: “The competent authority has taken cognisance of an offence allegedly committed by the accused persons under the provisions of NAO, 1999. In this regard, the inquiry proceedings have revealed that during your tenure in office you retained some state gifts presented to you by various foreign dignitaries including the following luxury items — five Rolex wristwatches; one iPhone presented by Chief of Staff, Qatar Armed Forces, dated 14.11.2018; (No. E67574V3), a pair of cufflinks, one ring; unstitched cloth of pant coat from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia dated 18.09.2020; Graff gift set containing one Graff wristwatch Master Graff Special Edition Mecca timepiece, one 18K gold and diamond Graff pen and a ring and pair of cufflinks with micro-painting of Mecca.”

“You are therefore requested to join the inquiry proceedings before the Combined Investigation Team (CIT), NAB (Rawalpindi/Islamabad), Civic Centre, G-6, Islamabad,” reads the notice

Continue Reading

pakistan

Govt moves SC to withdraw curative review reference against Justice Isa

Published

on

By

The federal government on Saturday filed a petition in the Supreme Court to withdraw curative review reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The government said it did not want to pursue the case and pleaded the apex court to allow the withdrawal of the petition against the senior judge.

A day earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi approved the withdrawal of the curative review reference and Civil Miscellaneous Application (CMA) against the judge of Justice Isa.

The president gave the approval on the advice of the prime minister in accordance with Article 48 of the Constitution. Dr Alvi also signed his power of attorney in favour of Advocate Supreme Court Anees Ahmed Shehzad.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

pakistan

‘Only three’ died in pursuit of free flour in Punjab, clarifies Punjab gov spox

Published

on

By

Punjab caretaker information minister Amir Mir on Saturday said PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry’s claims of 20 deaths in pursuit of free flour across the province were ridiculous.

He clarified that “only three” people died in a stampede while four others suffered a cardiac arrest adding that two of them died in the hospital while the remaining breathed their last in their homes.

He said Mr Chaudhry’s false claims won’t get the air adding that he should refrain from telling lies in the holy month of Ramadan at least. “PTI leaders compete with each other in lies”, he added. People of Pakistan, he said, were aware of the difference between truth and lies and it was not possible for people like Fawad to misguide them.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN