Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses an event in Islamabad on March 26, 2024, in this still taken from a video. —
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses an event in Islamabad on March 26, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — 
  • “It won’t work out without one,” he insists about IMF programme.
  • Says programme has “some limitations”, but needed for stability.
  • PM Shehbaz stresses on eliminating red tape.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday shared the government’s plans to go for another programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it reaches a staff level agreement with the final instalment to be received next month.

The premier, when speaking about the dealings with the Washington-based lender, said that its programme has some “limitations” as it to ensure economic stability.

“We have to do another IMF programme. It won’t work out without one. Rome was not built overnight,” the prime minister said addressing the Tax Excellence Awards in Islamabad today.

He reiterated that a route will have been taken to ensure that as well as focus on the country’s growth, provide job opportunities to people and address inflation.

Last week, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb also maintained that Pakistan will discuss an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington next month, as the country looks to alleviate a full-scale economic crisis.

The cash-strapped nation’s standby $3 billion arrangement with the global lender expires on April 11, and the two sides reached a staff-level agreement regarding the disbursal of the final tranche of $1.1 billion earlier this week.

Commenting on tax collection in Pakistan, the premier said that it is the government’s priority to provide a better environment for taxpayers and that it is currently restructuring as well as plans to digitise the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

He termed the good tax collectors as “heroes” who will be given awards and medals. Meanwhile, he praised businessman Mian Mansha as the biggest tax payer of the country, as he paid tax worth Rs26 billion.

Pakistan Honour Card will be given to top tax payers, he said. “Those who are being given awards today will be given blue passports as honourary ambassadors of Pakistan.”

PM Shehbaz lamented the “mountain of debt” in the country which exists till date.

He maintained that it is not the government’s job to do business, but to create an enabling environment for it.

The premier emphasised on the need for the private sector and the government to work together to ensure a smooth economy in the country.

“The government of Pakistan, alongside the provincial set ups, must help the private sector.”

PM Shehbaz said the voice of a nation is heard around the world if it’s economy is “strong”, as “no one listens to the voice of the weak”.

Addressing participants at the awards, the prime minister said that the government’s work on all policies has begun and that the decision-making process will have to be expedited.

He stressed on eliminating red tape, as it causes immense hindrances.

“Let us all move forward with these difficulties and challenges together,” he insisted, hoping to bring a positive change in the country.

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