In a meeting with IMF delegation visiting Pakistan, the Prime Minister Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has said that Government of Pakistan is taking active interest in imposing economic reforms and is also developing political consensus among the parties for resource mobilization and developing long-term economic strategy.
He also said that Government is in a process of implementing long structural reform program for the development of economic growth. The Prime Minister also indicated towards the positive trends in economy due the steps taken by Government thru’ promoting exports resulting in increasing levels of foreign reserves and remittances. He said that despite of difficulties faced by his Government they are determined in introducing and implementing economic reforms.
Referring to the implementation of RGST, the PM told the delegation that RGST has already been introduced and passed by Senate and they are working hard to get consensus from the major political players of the country. The Government is also restructuring the sick public sector organizations to convert them into profit earning entities; this will help in eliminating the subsidies given in covering the expenditures of these organizations.
The Prime Minister also requested to the ‘friends of Pakistan’ to honour their commitments providing aid for the rehabilitation of the flood affectees. He has also mentioned the steps taken by Government by cutting the development and non-development expenditures for supporting these flood victims. He also had asked the IMF delegation for their continuous support for Pakistan to overcome economic challenges while they implement the economic reforms proposed by IMF.
The IMF delegation has appreciated the efforts of Government of Pakistan for their efforts for implementing economic agenda. The Finance Minister Dr. Hafeez Sheikh and Minister of State Hina Rabbani khar and other finance ministry officials were also present at the meeting.
RGST Reforms and Political Parties view point: IMF has proposed to implement taxes on Services sector, eliminate subsidies on energy sector especially on electricity rates, implementing taxes on agriculture sector. The general public and political parties are of the view that these reforms will increase prices of the general goods, commodities and services cost to an unbearable and intolerable levels. The rich will find some ways to evade these taxes, whereas, the common people will be the major sufferers of these. This will cause unrest among the common masses. The leaders of the political parties like MQM and PML-N has also condemned the implementation of these reforms.