Shaukat Tareen: Pakistan cannot increase tariffs, taxes

"We have told the IMF that we cannot increase taxes", Tareen said.

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Shaukat Tareen: Pakistan cannot increase tariffs, taxes

Monitoring Desk: 

Federal Finance Minister, Shaukat Tareen on Wednesday said Pakistan cannot increase tariff and taxes. The International Monetary  Fund (IMF) has been informed about the decision of the federal government, he said.

Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad, Mr. Tareen said “Pakistan has not yet come out of the IMF program, we have discussed with them and told them that our revenues were increasing at 92 percent but the third wave of Covid came and they decreased after that.”

“At this time, we don’t have the capacity to increase tariffs or [adopt] incremental taxes, our common man is completely fed up of this inflation,” he said, adding that this had a cascading effect and inflation would increase once fuel charges were increased.

He added that this stance was conveyed and both the World Bank and the IMF had been very sympathetic to it. “We have to tell them that we won’t come out of the IMF program but give us some space and we will change the method. Tariff increase is not the only way to raise money.”

He said they were concerned that Pakistan’s circular debt was increasing and there “should be some brakes” and stability in it. Tareen added that the government would prove that through various measures, but it didn’t mean that it would increase tariffs on the common person since Prime Minister Imran Khan was against it.

“We will apologize to them on this and they are sympathetic to us.”

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