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Hafeez Shaikh Claims that Budget Not A Product of IMF Dictation

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the grim economic situation demanded sacrifices and it was rubbish to say that it was an International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictated budget.

He said it was irritating that people were saying that Rs5.550 trillion tax collection target of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was challenging without giving an alternative to pay Rs2.9 trillion in debt servicing cost in next fiscal year.

“Either we can abandon the pursuit or redouble efforts, we have redoubled the efforts,” said Shaikh while addressing a seminar, reported The Express Tribune.

Shaikh said that the country was facing difficult economic situation and the new budget reflected the demands of the time.

 “We have dysfunctional national life where not even one prime minister has completed his full-term and that has also impacted our economy,” said Shaikh.

The adviser said that Pakistan has never sustained high periods of economic growth for a longer time. He said that as a nation we do not like to do business with other nations and “countries cannot develop on their own”.

The adviser once again reiterated that Pakistan did not have a choice but to stabilise the economy, which was the only solution to the grim situation.

FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi too claimed that the government did not make budget on IMF dictation. “We have tried to correct past mistakes and it’s an allegation that budget is made on some institution’s dictation,” said Zaidi.

The FBR chairman also said that the last date of tax amnesty scheme will not be extended.

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