ISLAMABAD:- Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has claimed that Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will reach at an agreement to revive the stalled loan program within a day or two.

While chit chat with journalists in Parliament, he said that he is optimistic that the IMF program will be revived and within one or two days, the IMF and Pakistan will reach on an agreement at staff level.

The coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken the toughest measures to end fuel subsidies and hiked the POL (petrol, oil, lubricants) prices up to unprecedented levels in order to convince the Fund to revive the programme. 

However, the IMF is still insisting on doing more knowingly that the government has turned into a desperate borrower mainly owing to the depletion of foreign currency reserves.

Miftah said that the government wants to tax to the wealthy and providing relief to the poor through the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.

He said that the Fund has no concern with the increase in salaries and the tax exemption to the people earning below 1.2 million annually will remain in place.

The Finance Minister also attended the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Finance which is reviewing tax proposals by senators. While briefing the committee, Miftah talked about the proposed taxes on property and said that once construction begins on an empty plot, it will be exempted from taxes.

Lay one brick on the empty land and the taxes will be lifted. But we will not impose a tax on anyone who has not acquired the possession of a plot or has not received the permission to start construction on it, he said.

The finance minister said if a person has been granted permission to start construction on a piece of land and they still do not begin building something on it, then they will have to pay the tax.

Earlier, the finance minister proposed a 15% capital gains tax on immovable property for a one-year holding period, which will be reduced by 2.5% for every additional year.

If the IMF deal is finalised, traders expect the rupee to settle within a range of 195-200 per dollar till the end of the outgoing fiscal year 2021-22.

By adminmy

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