‘Tax rich more,’ IMF asks govt – Business & Finance

NEW YORK: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has called on the authorities in Pakistan to charge more taxes from the rich and protect the poor people.

Talking to a Pakistani TV channel after holding a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on the sidelines of the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the IMF chief said she believed that was in line with what the people of Pakistan would like to see for the country.

“What we are asking in our loan programme is that please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan,” she said, adding: “I do believe this is in line with what people in Pakistan would like to see for the country.”

Later in a post uploaded on X, formerly known as Twitter, Kristalina Georgieva said she had a good meeting with Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on the country’s economic prospects. “We agreed on the vital need for strong policies to ensure stability, foster sustainable and inclusive growth, prioritise revenue collection, and protection for the most vulnerable in Pakistan,” the IMF boss added.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said he had a constructive dialogue with IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva on the sidelines of the 78th UNGA session in New York.

In a post uploaded on his X handle, formerly known as Twitter, PM Kakar said that during the meeting they emphasised extending their mutual commitment towards bolstering economic stability and growth in Pakistan.

Both PM Kakar and IMF MD also posed for media men before their meeting.

Caretaker Prime Minister Kakar on Wednesday urged the world to extend financial and technical support to developing countries like Pakistan to help them achieve ambitions on climate change.

The PM, addressing the Climate Ambition Summit 2023, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UNGA, urged all nations to raise their climate ambitions, regardless of their statuses and geographical locations.

He told the international community that the adverse impact of climate change continued to rise in frequency and intensity, disproportionately affecting developing countries.

“Pakistan is a prime example. Despite contributing less than one percent to global warming, we are among the top ten vulnerable countries. The unprecedented floods of last year illustrated this vulnerability but these may just be the tip of the iceberg unless we arrest this global warming,” he remarked.

The PM thanked the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for active solidarity and mobilization of global support after the floods. He said due to its “well-established” climate vulnerability, the adaptation was a “critical” priority for Pakistan. He said Pakistan adopted the first-ever National Adaptation Plan to build climate resilience that would follow the projection and casting of interventions identified in the said Plan.

He said the second phase of the Plan would mark preparing for the sector-specific investment framework to serve as a blueprint to translate and identify the adaptation needs into tangible and bankable projects.

PM Kakar also highlighted Pakistan’s “Living Indus Initiative” aimed at restoring the ecological health of the Indus basin.

He said Pakistan took significant steps to enhance the early warning capacity as well as the flood protection plan. He said despite its no contribution to global warming, Pakistan chose to be part of the solution by deciding to convert 60 percent of its energy resources to alternative energy by 2030 which would cost around $100 billion to the country.

Citing Quranic verses, the prime minister told the world leaders that Islam promoted responsibility to protect the environment and utilise natural resources efficiently and undertake an equitable approach to nature.

Urging the global community to come up with climate actions and support to the developing countries, the prime minister said, “This will be a litmus test of solidarity and perhaps for the survival of our species on our injured planet.”

Caretaker PM Kakar and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Wednesday reiterated their commitment to promote regional economic integration and resolved to play an active role for inter-regional connectivity. They held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 78th Session of UNGA, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The two sides exchanged views on deepening bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including political, trade, economic, security, defence, and connectivity.

The PM, while expressing satisfaction at the growing level of bilateral cooperation in the last few years, stressed the importance of sustaining the momentum.

He underlined that the operationalisation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA) would boost trade and transit between the two countries.

The prime minister re-affirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to timely completion of Trans-Afghan railway project.

He also noted that regional connectivity, trade, and economic integration would have a stabilizing effect on Afghanistan as well.

Both sides also exchanged views on the recent developments in the region and matters related to the regional security and stability.

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