International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has called upon Pakistan to increase taxes on the wealthy while safeguarding the interests of the country’s poor citizens. This comes as Pakistan grapples with a year-on-year inflation rate of 27.4%, which has placed significant strain on households.
In August, widespread protests erupted in Pakistan due to soaring electricity bills, and although the government initially promised relief, it later rejected those plans in light of its commitments to the IMF.
After meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Georgieva stated that her recommendation aligns with the desires of the Pakistani people. She emphasized the need for strong policies to ensure economic stability, sustainable growth, revenue collection, and protection for vulnerable segments of the population. She said “Of course, it is difficult but Pakistan has to do it in line with the IMF programm as we stand by the people of Pakistan.”
Georgieva stated that she thought this was what Pakistan’s citizens wanted for their nation.
In our program, we are pleading with you to defend Pakistan’s underprivileged population and collect more taxes from the wealthy. She said ” What we are asking in our programm is that please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan I do think this is in line with what Pakistanis want to see for the nation.”
Interim PM Kakar also expressed his commitment to strengthen economic stability and growth in Pakistan during the meeting. He thanked the IMF for approving a $3 billion standby agreement to support Pakistan’s economy and outlined the government’s initiatives aimed at stabilizing and revitalizing the economy while protecting vulnerable groups. They have agreed to enhance the collection of taxes, reform state-owned businesses, and restructure the struggling energy sector
The discussion with the IMF president was described as “constructive” by PM Kakar, who is in New York for the 78th UNGA session.
The meeting, according to him, “emphasized extending our mutual commitment toward supporting economic stability and growth in Pakistan.”
Furthermore, Kakar proposed measures for developing economies during the Financing for Development Dialogue at the UNGA. He suggested the creation of an investment entity, the development of regulatory frameworks to encourage private investment, measures to de-risk SDG-related investments, and a revised method for calculating risk with credit rating agencies. These measures aim to attract private investments, accelerate the preparation of national projects, and foster sustainable development.”