PM Shahbaz says Pakistan can get $2 billion from IMF

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday said he was informed by Finance Minister Mifta Ismail that Pakistan may receive $2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Miftah Ismail broadcast a message in the morning saying that we hope to get not $1 billion, but $2 billion from the IMF. I replied by saying that our real target is [achieving] Independence. Asan said, “Premier said while addressing the ‘Turnaround Pakistan’ conference organized by the Ministry of Planning and Development.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for all quarters to work together for the progress of the country as well as the need for self-reliance. Self-reliance guarantees political and economic freedom, he said.

PM’s remarks came hours after Ismail announced That the country had achieved the combined economic and financial targets for the Seventh and Eighth reviews of its IMF bailout programme.

recently talking about the opening of a mega development project in bangladeshPM Shahbaz said that his counterpart had proudly announced that he had achieved this feat without the help of international donors.

“Certainly, this is a great achievement,” he said, adding that Pakistan is not short of resources or expertise.

He cited the example of Recko Dik to say that Pakistan has wasted billions but has not earned anything from the project so far. PM Shahbaz said that Pakistan is drowning in debt, adding that the country’s liabilities are far more than its assets.

He regretted that the 1,200 MW Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, set up by the former PML-N government, was still not completed.

“If you look at the electricity that we were going to get, which was going to run the agriculture sector, our industries, [and] give millions of jobs; When you take all these into account, we have suffered a huge loss.”

During his speech, the Prime Minister said that after 75 years of independence, Pakistan has nothing to show. “But crying over spilled milk will do nothing,” he said.

He further said that a few weeks ago there was a danger of running out of edible oil in the country. He said that he wrote to Indonesian President Joko Widodo in this regard and also spoke to him over the phone.

“The Indonesian president said he would issue instructions,” he said, instructing a minister to go to the country at his own expense, where he stayed until the ships left for Pakistan.

“This is an example. There are countless doors open when you want to work.”

PM Shahbaz said that Pakistan is facing innumerable issues as he has called for rising above individual interests and differences.

He said, “The new governments blame the previous governments. We need to decide about changing the fate of the country and for this we need to work day and night. Until this is done, we will be in circles. Will keep walking.”

‘Builders, furniture dealers to be brought under tax’

In his speech, the Finance Minister said that the government will bring builders and furniture dealers under the tax net.

“I will bring builders, real estate agents, car dealers, carpenters… all these people in the tax net. And I will make things easier for them,” he asserted, adding that Pakistan can only become “self-reliant”. If everyone including the rich paid taxes.

“We have imposed tax on the sons of the prime minister. I am paying more tax too. If we do so, we can ask the nation to make sacrifices,” he said.

He argued that the government levied a direct tax as opposed to a non-direct one because the former were non-inflationary. “This year, we will be doing 33 percent more than last year which is an achievement.”

The minister also cautioned that though Pakistan is no longer in danger of default, it is still important for the government and the people to tread carefully and “remain disciplined”.

He thanked the nation for supporting the government and understanding the need to increase the prices of petrol and diesel.