IMF’s Resident Representative Ms Esther Perez Ruiz. -- File photo

The global lending agency International Monetary Fund (IMF) seems still unhappy with Pakistan’s efforts to squeeze masses by imposing massive taxes and wants Islamabad to “do more.”

IMF’s Resident Representative Ms Esther Perez Ruiz said on Tuesday that Pakistan should not be limited to taking measures related to tax alone, but it should also find other ways to enhance the competitiveness of the economy.

Speaking to the office-bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), she said the purpose of the IMF programme is to promote macroeconomic stability and the country’s fiscal and monetary policies must promote the former’s vision in this regard.

She said the IMF programme’s aim is to bring a set of policies that could promote sustainable and inclusive growth.

She maintained that since the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio is very low, the purpose of eliminating sales tax exemptions to the industry through the recent finance bill is to reduce the complexity in the taxation system.

“We want Pakistan to attain a long-lasting and durable growth. And for this there is need to first endeavour to implement the macroeconomic policies, leading to the country’s economic development,” she said.

“However, we will remain open to hear remarks, observations and concerns [on the IMF programme] from your end,” Ms Ruiz said.

LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir said the chamber is quite sensitive about the impact of Pakistan’s ongoing 22nd IMF programme on the national economy and particularly on the private sector growth. “We will, however, witness the successful completion of this programme as well just like the 21st programme,” he added.

He termed the interaction with the IMF team better understanding of IMF policies and also know about the major success stories related to such programmes adopted by other countries.


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