ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has advised Pakistan to tax the wealthy and protect the poor.
Speaking to a Pakistani private media channel after her meeting with Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, Georgieva said “what we are asking in our programme is that please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan”.
Her comments come amid soaring inflation in Pakistan after the country secured a last-minute bailout from the Fund last July.
“Of course, it is difficult but Pakistan has to do it in line with the IMF programme as we stand by the people of Pakistan,” she said.
To a question, Georgieva said that revitalising Pakistan’s economy is in the interest of its people. “Shortcomings” of the past should be addressed, she urged, refering to reforms the lender has sought in the country.
Later, both PM Kakar and Georgieva took to X, formerly Twitter to share that they had had a constructive dialogue on Pakistan’s economic prospects.
After the $3 billion IMF tranche was secured last July, Pakistan’s year-on-year inflation hit 27.4 per cent, significantly shrinking household budgets. The month of August also saw exorbitant electricity bills leading to nationwide protests. Persistent increase in fuel prices has further burdened the populace.
The caretaker government attempted to first deny the inflated bills as a ‘non-issue’, then made promises of providing some relief but later ruled it out citing Pakistan’s commitments with the IMF.