International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director (MD) Kristalina Georgieva has urged Pakistan to increase taxation for the rich and safeguard the well-being of the less privileged. She said that these actions align with the desires of the people in Pakistan.
According to Geo News, speaking on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, she stated, “What we are asking in our programme is that you please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan. I do believe this is in line with what people in Pakistan would like to see for the country.”
In a separate social media post after a meeting with Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, Georgieva stated, “Very good meeting with Pakistan’s PM today on Pakistan’s economic prospects. We agreed on the vital need for strong policies to ensure stability, foster sustainable and inclusive growth, prioritise revenue collection, and provide protection for the most vulnerable in Pakistan.”
Furthermore, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) released a statement expressing gratitude for the IMF’s approval of a $3 billion stand-by agreement (SBA) to support Pakistan’s economy. The arrangement, approved by the IMF’s Executive Board in July, is set for its second review in November.
The statement mentioned that Kakar briefed the MD IMF on various measures taken by the Government of Pakistan to stabilise and revive the country’s economy, with a focus on creating a stable environment for sustainable economic growth and investment, particularly for vulnerable segments of society.
Kristalina Georgieva commended Pakistan’s concerted efforts in implementing policies and reforms to revive the economy and assured continued engagement with Pakistan.
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In July, Pakistan secured a last-minute SBA with the IMF, providing relief to its economy, which had long grappled with a boom-and-bust cycle due to the absence of meaningful structural reforms. High inflation and a balance-of-payments crisis have led to economic distress, prompting the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to revise its growth outlook for the country.
Low foreign exchange reserves have resulted in import restrictions as debt payments remained high and avenues for dollar inflows were limited.
Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar also called upon the international community to find a lasting solution to the debt issues faced by 59 countries in debt distress, emphasising the need for global and regional cooperation to achieve sustainable development goals.
He highlighted the importance of resources for developing countries and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to supporting the Global Development Initiative. Kakar also noted the significance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in achieving sustainable development goals.