The prices of petroleum products will remain unchanged effective from November 1, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced on Monday, ahead of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) meeting.

The price of petroleum products will remain unchanged for the coming fortnight (till November 15), the finance minister said during a televised address.

The IMF has tasked the government to increase the petroleum levy in line with the commitments made by Pakistan to the money lender for securing the much-needed $1.17 billion loan.

The ruling coalition last slashed the price of petrol on September 30 by Rs12.63 per litre, giving relief to the inflation-stricken people, when Dar took charge as the finance czar.

Dar also announced extension in the date to file tax returns till November 30.

The minister said that the government decided on extending the date following requests received by the business community.

This is the second extension by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Earlier, the board extended the date for filing income tax returns for individuals and companies till October 31.

The finance minister also said there were around 8,000 cases of suspended letters of credit (LCs) two weeks ago.

“I had a meeting with the State Bank of Pakistan governor, and we have decided, with the involvement of the central bank, that we will increase this amount to $100,000. The SBP will start clearing them from tomorrow,” Dar said.

He added that 4,400 out of 8,000 LCs had been cleared and the new move would further clear 1,365 cases.

Earlier, the government had decided that LCs and payments of up to $50,000 would be released.

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