Coalition govt need to come up with economic reforms strategy: Dr. Hafeez Pasha.

ISLAMABAD -- Dr. Hafeez A Pasha, former finance minister Pakistan, has said the agenda of comprehensive economic reforms strategy should be the top most priority for the new coalition government. It is for the first time that we are having such a broad-based national consensus government and, thus, it needs to be taken as a golden opportunity to correct the economy and rationalize our taxation system.

He said this while delivering his keynote speech at the roundtable meeting on 'Immediate economic priorities of Pakistan' jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

Dr. Hafeez Pasha highlighted that the current account deficit of Pakistan in the first 8 months of the current fiscal year has reached 12-billion-dollar and could touch 18 to 19 billion dollars by June 30, 2022. Thus, we would be needing 30 to 32 billion dollars of financing every year to manage our transactions with rest of the world.

'Pakistan has been able to arrange 18 billion dollars of financing in the first nine months of the current fiscal year whereas 15 to 16 billion dollars will have to be managed in the remaining 3 months,' Dr Pasha projected while adding that about 5.5 billion dollars decline in the foreign exchange reserves in the month of March 2022 has added further into our economic woes.

He suggested that while entering the negotiations with the IMF, we should ensure the IMF that we are going to pursue a comprehensive reforms' strategy. The relief package should be targeted while all indirect taxes on basic food items including ghee, sugar, spices, vegetables, and tea, should be withdrawn.

Dr. Hafeez Pasha said, 'long-term capital gains exemption should be withdrawn on property and shares while fuel adjustment charges should be removed only for the small consumers.' Besides, taxation should be on comprehensive income along with progressive taxation.

Dr. Abid Qaiyum...

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