Pakistan presents mini budget to comply with IMF conditions

Pakistan presents mini budget to comply with IMF conditions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday presented a mini budget at the National Assembly in order to comply with the conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar presented the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2023 in the National Assembly proposing to impose new taxes worth Rs 170 billion in various sectors to minimize the fiscal deficit of the current fiscal year 2022-23.

READ MORE: Cabinet okays Finance Supplementary Bill 2023; sales tax rate goes up to 18 per cent

It is worth mentioning that the final round of talks between Pakistani authorities and IMF will be held on February 16, 2023 in order to finalize ninth review of Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Presenting the supplementary Bill, the finance minister said the government has proposed to increase the General Sales Tax on the import of luxury items from the existing 17 per cent to 25 per cent, while overall General Sales Tax has also been increased from the existing 17 per cent o 18 per cent.

READ MORE: Mini budget to be presented before parliament today

The minister said the government recently held talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive the programme with the IMF in which it was agreed that the government would take some tough decisions to streamline the deteriorating condition of Pakistan’s economy.

He said the new revenue measures would not affect the poor segment as most of the new taxes were being imposed on luxury items not used by them.

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The minister added that in order to help the poor cope with the rising inflation, the government has also proposed a Rs 40 billion increase in the budget of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

“The government has proposed to increase the BISP budget from Rs 360 billion to Rs 400, allocating Rs 40 billion in additional funds to benefit the (BISP) beneficiaries,” he said.

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