Tax, energy reforms must for economic stability in country: Ishaq Dar

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 10 (APP): Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said tax and energy reforms are a must for the country’s economic stability.
Talking to a private news channel, he said enhanced tax collection was only way out to overcome Rs 40 billion tax shortfall recorded during first quarter of current fiscal year 2015-16.
Ishaq Dar said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had set a revenue target of Rs 640 billion for first quarter of current fiscal year. “We faced Rs 40 billion shortfall in tax collection.”
To a question, the minister said Rs 40 billion tax would levy on luxury commodities used by the rich and its impact would not be on the poor and middle class people.
The minister said development budget had been increased from Rs 316
billion to Rs 700 billion and there would be no cut on development funds to meet the tax shortfall.
Ishaq Dar said the government had strived to achieve economic stability particularly during first two years of its tenure which also helped restoring the confidence of international financial institutions.
To another question, the Minister said negotiations between Pakistan and International Monetary Funds (IMF) for the 9th tranche review under Extended Facility Fund (EFF) had been completed successfully and for the first time, Pakistan had entered in the 9th review.
Dar informed a $500 million tranche would be received from the World Bank during current month.
The country had made a significant progress in energy sector and various economic targets were achieved by the government, he said adding, the country’s foreign reserves had crossed $20 billion in September.
He hoped more good news regarding economic stability of the country in near future.
Due to prudent policies of the government, the government was able to
achieve GDP growth of 4.5 percent and striving to achieve 5.5 percent GDP within current fiscal year.
The Minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government did not want to get financial assistance from IMF but to clear old loans, the incumbent government went to IMF.
During last two years, the Pakistan received US$4.6 billion and returned US$ 4.7 billion, he added.
“The government is focusing on tax reforms for economic stability and
prosperity in the country,” he said.
Dar said that Circular debt was increased due to lack of energy reforms and unfortunately no power project was initiated to overcome energy crisis.
To a question about National Action Plan he said, it was being implemented in letter and spirit and all law enforcement agencies were working in collaboration with each other.
The government wanted to move ahead in collaboration with all political parties including Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) as political stability was need of the hour to achieve economic stability.