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April 10, 2021

Rabbani slams govt over IMF agreement

Top Story

April 10, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani on Friday slammed the government for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which proposes raising taxation of over Rs 1.272 trillion for the upcoming budget, saying that it is unfortunate that the people of Pakistan and the parliament have been kept in dark by the government on the new terms agreed with the IMF.

“The people of Pakistan and the parliament become aware of such terms by documents released by the IMF and this act of non-transparency of the government is condemned in the strongest terms,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Rabbani said after this agreement, there is no need for the government to have a budget session as budget targets have already been set on the dictation of the IMF. He said the National Assembly has been reduced to a rubber stamp, which will give approval to a budget prepared by the IMF. The Senate as a protest should refuse to make recommendations for the budget when it is presented because this is not a Pakistani budget but a budget prepared by Pakistan’s new imperial masters. He said the federal government has agreed with the IMF to increase FBR taxes by a massive Rs 1.272 trillion 2.8pc of GDP in the coming budget. He said according to reports, the government has agreed to increase electricity rates by Rs4.97 per unit in the remaining three months of the current fiscal year. “According to the IMF, the government has undertaken to keep making electricity tariff adjustment next year on monthly, quarterly and annual basis through the NEPRA’s amended law.” He said the documents also suggested that the government would continue increasing petroleum levy on all products to the maximum level Rs30 per liter this year. He said the petroleum levy target for the next year has been set at Rs607 billion. The provinces have given an undertaking to provide Rs570 billion cash surplus next year, he said.

He said various tax collection targets of the Federal Board of Revenue, General Sales Tax and Personal Income Tax, etc have already been agreed. “It is further agreed that the government would bring down the current year development programme,” he said.