November 20, 2018 (MLN): Caught in a challenging predicament, the Pakistani government is presented with the most taxing conditions in the history of its association with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Reports have it, that as part of its bailout package, the fund has put forward a few demanding conditions including, increase in General Sales Tax (GST) to 18 percent and withdrawal of subsidy in phases, more than 1 percent increase in interest rate, and allowing further rupee devaluation against the greenback.
The entity has also asked the government to make State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) independent.
In addition to this, crackdown against tax evaders, and to slash line losses of the electricity, are also part of the Fund's conditions.
Previously on November 3rd, the government succumbed to the Fund’s pressure and decided to withdraw Rs.146 billion subsidy on power being given to the domestic consumers.
According to sources, distribution companies have been instructed to chalk out a uniform power tariff for domestic consumers of different categories.
A petition seeking the determination of power tariff has also been sent to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). This petition will be heard by the regulatory body on November 26.
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