PDM Alliance, Former President Asif Ali Zardari called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in order to discuss the ongoing political and economic situation in the country.
The meeting was held in Prime Minister House Islamabad, co-chaired by Prime Minister Shhebaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari in order to make strategies for the revival of the economy and to make decisions for the revival of the stalled International Monetary Program’s (IMF) loan program.
Federal Finance Minister and Senator Ishaq Dar, Economic Affairs Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, and Senator Saleem Mandviwala from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were also present at the meeting.
Both leaders also discussed the ongoing Political situation in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the formation of the caretaker governments.
According to sources, both leaders believe that the revival of the economy should be the priority of the government.
Credible Sources inside the Prime Minister’s office said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the participants regarding the economic situation and what impact would the hard decisions have. However, the participants decided to apply a method that keeps inflation under control.
Tough Decision to Stabilize Economy
According to details, The tough decisions include hiking the gas and electricity tariffs and unveiling a mini-budget for imposing more taxation measures to fetch Rs150-200 billion.
Official sources within the government told that “The Prime Minister chaired an online meeting Wednesday evening for around three hours and thirty minutes in which important decisions were taken. However, this meeting is expected to be reconvened on Thursday (today) for taking more crucial decisions.”
However, sources, privy to the development, said the gas tariff is expected to increase from Rs650 per MMBTU to Rs1,100 per MMBTU on average.
SNGPL and SSGCL have a monstrous circular debt of Rs1,640 billion, the government plans to recover Rs800 to Rs850 billion via the new price hike.
Meanwhile, in the power sector, the government is considering raising the electricity tariff from Rs4.50 per unit in the first phase and Rs3 per unit in the second phase within the ongoing fiscal year.
The government also has plans to slap a 1 to 3% flood levy on imports to fetch Rs100 billion.
the government is also considering slapping a 60 to 70% tax on commercial banks’ alleged earnings through manipulation of the exchange rate. The banks estimated earned around Rs100 billion in extraordinary profits in the first nine months of the calendar year 2022.
An increase in the Excise Duty (FED) on sugary beverages, and cigarettes and slapping GST on POL products is also on cards. However, in the recent past, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar opposed regulating 17% GST on POL products, arguing that it would be highly inflationary.
Rember here one thing that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar already announces that Mini-budget includes some tough measures like imposing a “flood levy” and increasing Duty on Petroleum products in order to stabilize the economy.