IMF not happy over providing relief to salaried class: Finance Minister

Finance minister Miftah Ismail has said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not happy over providing relief to the salaried class in the budget.

Addressing a post-budget press conference alongwith Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, Miftah Ismail said there will be a tightening of fiscal policy.

“Although we have taxed the rich class despite the fact, the IMF is not happy adding that we may have to reduce the personal income tax slabs”.

Finance minister also said that we have presented the budget at a time when Pakistan is in a difficult time.

“I have never seen a more difficult time in the last 30 years where there are global challenges on one hand and nothing has been done by the government or administration on the other,” he said.

The Finance Minister said that growth and controlling inflation is our goal but our first goal is to achieve financial stability and divert the country from the path left by Imran Khan.

“Our second goal is to provide relief to our poor people for which we are taking difficult decisions.

The government is trying to handle the economic affairs of the country so that the country does not face a situation like that of Sri Lanka,” he said.

He said that the government has given a subsidy of over Rs 1100 billion for the power department during the current financial year. Despite subsidy, the reason for high cost of electricity is mismanagement, lack of electricity rate fixing system, transmission distribution losses are unbearably high, bill collection rate is very low, and last 3, 4 years, he added.

I have done very little work on it, the country’s economy cannot afford such a loss, he added.

He also said that the reason for the deterioration in the country was not only that Imran Khan and his team were incompetent but also a big reason that many of his people were involved in embezzlement.

The Finance Minister said that we have all heard about the Rawalpindi Ring Road. It is also known that sugar was sold for Rs 48 and sold for Rs 96.

Everyone knows how bribes were given as gifts. Like Imran Khan, if I leave everything and start making cases against these people, then who will do my job.

Minister for State Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha said that the budget has adopted a strategy of minimizing the burden on the people and there are many measures in the budget in this regard.

While replying to another question, he said that this is an anti-inflationary budget as not only petroleum products consumption but indirect taxes have been reduced.

Replying to a question with regard to inflation measures in the budget, the finance minister said that how can one change the international cycle of super price increase. All we can do is that we didn’t raise direct taxes, we didn’t tax agriculture. “

He said that a subsidy of Rs. 400 billion has been given in the gas sector in the current financial year. If we have promised to supply gas to the industries then it is clear that we will definitely supply gas to them and if India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are getting cheap gas then we how can we make our people expensive, he added

Miftah Ismail said that the Prime Minister used to say that taxes should be increased on oil marketing companies like banking companies but I always said that it is not possible; however we have to see that SNGPL gets Rs 2.4 billion every year.

I am saying that the administrative matters of the country have to be fixed otherwise the economy of the country will not run.

He also said that at present there is no choice but difficult decisions, this budget is also a link to it, and this year’s budget has a deficit of 4.598 trillion.

The Finance Minister said that we will collect Rs 7,004 billion in taxes in the next fiscal year. Besides, we will pay Rs 4,000 billion to the provinces and over Rs, 3000 billion in debt repayment. After that only one thousand billion rupees will be left in which we also have to run the government.

Miftah Ismail said that FBR will bring 2.5 million shopkeepers in the tax net in the next year. He said that now we will overcome the administrative situation and I also request the media not to run news when we make difficult decisions.

The finance minister said that efforts have been made in the budget to get more share from the rich and provide relief to the people. Subsidizing fuel was no longer an option as it would ultimately increase interest rates and inflation which would make it difficult to borrow.

He clarified that no tax was imposed on FATA in the new budget but the previous government imposed tax in 2018 which was withdrawn in 2021.

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