US still to pay Pak 1.5 bn dollars for 9 months as support for War on Terror

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Islamabad, Feb 20 (ANI): Pakistan's Finance Adviser Shaukat Tareen has said that arrears of coalition support for the War on Terror have increased to 1.5 billion dollars since May 2008.

"We have asked them to at least release 100 million dollars per month and scrutinise the remaining claim of 50 million dollars for subsequent disbursement and they have termed it as a good suggestion," he told reporters after inaugurating a one-day workshop on the Medium Term Budget Framework (MTBF).

He said that Pakistan would forward its formal request for an additional 4.5 billion dollars to bridge the financing gap owing to losses of the war on terror to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) authorities at the IMF-World Bank annual meeting in April.

Responding to a question on the IMF review of Pakistan's economy underway in Dubai, he said that review is going well and there would be a positive outcome.

To a question on the waiver on the revenue collection target, the adviser admitted Pakistan would seek such waivers in future too, as revenue collection in the first half of the fiscal year had seen a shortfall of Rs 23 billion, the Daily Times reported.

The adviser said he was not aware of any demand by the Federal Board of Revenue for property tax collection, and said the country needed an increase in the tax-to-GDP ratio at 15 percent in medium term.

Elimination of all tax exemptions except in food and life-saving drugs was also required, he added. Tareen said the depreciation of Pakistani rupee was the main reason behind the high prices of petroleum products. (ANI)

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