NEW YORK: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended that Pakistan implement a wealth tax to alleviate the financial burden on the less affluent members of society.
After meeting with Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva spoke exclusively to Geo News, stating, “While it may be challenging, Pakistan needs to pursue this approach in line with the IMF program, as we stand in solidarity with the people of Pakistan.”
When asked, she emphasized that it is in the best interest of Pakistan’s citizens for the country to revitalize its economy and address past “shortcomings,” referring to the reforms that the IMF is urging Pakistan to undertake.
Pakistan has entered into a $3 billion bailout agreement with the IMF, which includes commitments to overhaul the struggling energy sector, implement reforms in state-owned enterprises, and enhance tax collection.
However, the measures taken by the government have led to increased hardship for the general population, with a significant rise in electricity and fuel prices contributing to record levels of inflation.
The IMF has rejected proposals put forth by the caretaker government to mitigate the impact of soaring food and energy prices.
Kristalina Georgieva stated, “Allow me to convey a straightforward message to everyone in Pakistan. What we are seeking in our program is an appeal to collect more taxes from the affluent and safeguard the less fortunate people of Pakistan.”
She added, “I believe this aligns with the aspirations of the Pakistani populace for their country.”
Earlier, PM Kakar, who is attending the 78th UNGA session in New York, described the meeting with the IMF chief as “productive.”
He stated that the meeting “underscored our shared commitment to strengthening economic stability and growth in Pakistan.”
The prime minister expressed appreciation for the IMF’s approval of the loan to support Pakistan’s economy, according to a statement from the PM Office.
Kakar briefed the IMF chief on various measures taken by the government to stabilize and revitalize the country’s economy.
“The prime minister affirmed that these initiatives aim to create a stable and conducive environment for sustainable economic growth and investment. Additionally, a strong focus had been placed on protecting the vulnerable segments of society.”
In response, IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva commended Pakistan’s concerted efforts to implement policies and reforms aimed at reviving the economy.
She assured that the IMF remains committed to ongoing engagement with Pakistan.