The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern over the circular debt in the gas sector of Pakistan, citing sources, ARY News reported on Thursday.
Sources told ARY News that the IMF delegation visited the Petroleum Division and held talks with the senior officials. The Petroleum Division’s secretary briefed the IMF delegation regarding the measures taken by the federal government.
“IMF delegation expressed reservations over the existing circular debt in the gas sector and stressed bringing immediate reforms to the energy sector,” said sources.
The IMF officials insisted Petroleum Division’s officials take action against gas theft besides taking necessary steps to stop technical losses in the sector.
The IMF officials tabled tough demands before releasing $1 billion dollar tranche during the second day of talks with the Pakistani government to unlock stalled funds from a $7 billion bailout.
After the technical negotiations with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation also discussed the preparations for the announcement of the mini-budget this month.
“IMF is demanding to impose taxes from Rs600 to 800 billion while the Pakistani government is negotiating it to drop down to Rs200 billion,” sources told ARY News.
Earlier in the day, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded Pakistan to amend laws for the assets declaration of public servants.
An IMF mission arrived in Islamabad on January 30 to discuss the stalled ninth review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
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According to the sources at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the IMF insisting public declaration of the government servants’ assets. The international lender has also demanded details of the overseas assets of the bureaucracy, sources said.
The IMF has also demanded the establishment of an authority to make public the government officers’ assets, according to sources.
The lender demanded to make movable and immovable assets of bureaucrats in overseas to ensure transparency and accountability, according to sources. It has demanded to set up an Electronic Assets Declaration System for transparency.
“Bureaucrats’ assets will be checked prior to the opening of a bank account,” sources said. “Banks will get information from the FBR for the opening of accounts of bureaucrats.”