Friday, May 24, 2024

IMF Likely to Demand Pension Reforms

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is poised to push for pension reforms in Pakistan from the next financial year, a move that could render the provision of pensions unfeasible.

As reported by The News, the IMF mission is scheduled to visit Pakistan in mid-May 2024 to finalize key aspects of the forthcoming bailout package under the $6-$8 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.

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During their two-week stay in Islamabad, the IMF team will work on shaping the macroeconomic and fiscal framework for the next three to four years. The government aims to present the 2024-25 budget before parliament around June 6 or 7, 2024, potentially implementing stringent measures to achieve fiscal stability.

Read: IMF Approves $1.1 Billion Disbursement to Pakistan for Economic Reform Efforts

Pension reforms are expected to feature prominently in the IMF's demands for the next financial year, potentially making pension provision unsustainable. Additionally, proposals are under consideration to subject pensions to taxation, with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) mulling over taxing monthly pensions exceeding Rs100,000 and imposing a flat 10 percent rate on taxable pension amounts.

The size of the upcoming EFF program will be determined during negotiations between Pakistan and the IMF. Pakistan may also seek IMF assistance through climate finance, akin to Bangladesh and Egypt, to bolster the program's size.

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In forthcoming discussions, the IMF is likely to advocate for significant taxation and expenditure reductions to achieve fiscal consolidation. While the primary surplus has remained positive, the overall fiscal balance has deteriorated, with net revenue receipts falling short of debt servicing requirements, a key expenditure concern.

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Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob is a senior anchor, and an investigative journalist with an impressive 37 years of experience. Zubair's journalistic journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of truth and a commitment to delivering impactful stories.Zubair's expertise extends beyond borders, reaching as far as Malaysia, where he has left an indelible mark on the international journalism landscape. His global perspective and keen analytical skills have allowed him to navigate diverse cultural landscapes, bringing a unique and enriching perspective to his reporting.Whether he's in the studio or on the field, Zubair continues to be a driving force in the world of journalism, bridging gaps, fostering understanding, and unraveling the stories that matter most. As the Headline PK Author, Zubair remains at the forefront of news, guiding audiences through the complexities of our ever-evolving world.
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