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IMF tells Pakistan to privatise loss-making entities, increase tax on petroleum products

ISLAMABAD – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to do more to overcome the losses of state-owned enterprises and boost revenue collection.

As technical talks concluded on Friday, the global lender asked the Pakistani government to increase electricity and gas tariff, increase GST on petroleum products to 18% and privatise the state-owned entities running in loss.

It also sought limited state intervention in economy through privatisation of state-owned entities and demanded regular audit of the public institutions. The IMF delegation also laid stress on privatisation of LNG power plants, promotion of tax culture and eradication of corruption.

The visiting IMF team asked the Pakistani government to reduce losses of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills.

On conclusion of technical talks, the two sides will start policy-level negotiations tomorrow.

The IMF delegation is visiting the South Asian country for ninth review of the $7 billion loan programme stalled since September last.

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