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May 9, 2021

Newly-negotiated agreement with IMF: Rabbani demands joint session to discuss issue

ISLAMABAD: Senate’s former chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Saturday demanded to convene a joint sitting of both the houses of the Parliament and place a newly negotiated agreement with IMF and to discuss its consequences on the common man.

“This ambiguity with reference to the terms of the agreement, which till date have not been formally announced or placed before Parliament, needs to be brought to an end and it is demanded that a Joint Session of Parliament be held after Eid to place before it the newly negotiated agreement with IMF and its consequences on the common man,” he said this while talking to The News on Saturday.

Raza Rabbani said the IMF and new masters of this government have exposed the government’s claim of renegotiating the PTI-IMF agreement. He said, “IMF’s Director for Communications, Gerry Rice in a news briefing in Washington on Thursday, stated that a month ago the Fund completed the pending third, fourth and fifth review of its extended facility to Pakistan and this was approved by our Board.”

Raza Rabbani said under the new agreement the IMF had set revenue targets for the government, therefore, the placing of the budget before Parliament is an exercise in futility. “The IMF-PTI agreement focuses on raising tax revenues and have come up with tax target that are highly ambitious,” he said.

He said the IMF has proposed of doing away with GST exemptions, these tax exemptions are related to agriculture and medicines. “It is also strange that the government is talking about increasing the development expenditures whereas the new conditionalities they have already decided to reduce the development expenditures,” he said.