Pak will pay "heavy price" over failure to meet international commitments: Finance Min

Islamabad, Nov 24 (ANI): Pakistan would be required to pay a "heavy price" for failing to meet international commitments, Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Shaikh said that Pakistan needed a three-to-five-year long economic stabilisation programme combined with structural reforms to steer itself out of its debt trap and meet its national development goals, the Daily Times reported.

He termed the debate on tax on agricultural or non-agricultural income as a "bogus discussion," and announced that the federal government would tax every person having the ability to pay tax.

"By not imposing RGST on goods and services Pakistan will lose credibility before the IMF, as well as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, who are willing to give more financing for reforms," he stated.

Shaikh said that the financial institutions were not pressurising the country, but "are just asking in a decent way as to how Pakistan will repay its loans without broadening the tax base and netting the rich".

The RGST would not affect the masses, rather it would replace the current GST that was distorted by "some influentials," who were taking unjust benefit, the minister said, adding that the bill would be passed with the consensus of all stakeholders, including provincial governments. (ANI)

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