Pakistan Plans Reforms In Move for IMF Aid

Pakistan’s finance minister announced a range of measures on Wednesday to narrow fiscal and trade deficits as prime minister Imran Khan prepares to present the government’s case to the IMF for a loan to rebuild confidence in the country’s economy, the Financial Times reported. In a speech in the lower house of parliament, Asad Umar unveiled a cut in import duty on industrial raw materials to raise industrial productivity and help ease a chronic energy crisis that has caused repeated power outages and gas supply interruptions. He also proposed a series of tax measures for investors in the stock market, as well as proposals to cut red tape and lower taxes for small and medium-sized businesses. “We need to bring a balance in revenue and expenditure as it is vital for growth,” Mr Umar said. “Our imports are touching a dangerous point. We have to increase exports and bring reforms in agriculture and other sectors”. Since he was elected in August, Mr Khan has focused on staving off a balance of payments crisis. Read more