Pak Govt reshuffles economic team to gear up for new IMF-backed tax regime

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Islamabad, Dec 21 (ANI): The Pakistan government has pulled up its socks to fulfil the commitments it made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it reshuffled its economic team to gear up for the imposition of the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) regime.

In a meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani decided to take Dr Waqar Masood Khan as Secretary Finance in place of Salman Siddiq, The Nation reported.

Siddiq has now been made Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which is a demotion in technical terms, as the Revenue Division is part of the Finance Ministry.

Suhail Ahmed, who was looking after the FBR as Chairman, has been transferred as Secretary Planning and Development Division.

At the same time, the PPP leadership has also given a go-ahead to Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to apply for an extension in the standby loan programme of the IMF.

Seeking an extension beyond December 31 means reaffirming the Pakistan government's commitment to impose the RGST in addition to meeting rest of the conditionality, the paper said.

According to sources, the programme is most likely to be extended for three to six months. "Pakistan has asked for an extension and the IMF board is considering the request," said one source based in Pakistan. (ANI)

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