Tax the rich to protect the poor, IMF chief tells Pakistani PM on sidelines of UNGA - GulfToday

Tax the rich to protect the poor, IMF chief tells Pakistani PM on sidelines of UNGA


Kristalina Georgieva greets Anwaar-ul Haq Kakar in New York on Wednesday.

Pakistan, which is surviving on an emergency financial arrangement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and trying to revive its crippling economy through taxes reform mechanism, has been told to tax the rich and protect

the poor people of Pakistan."

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has had a meeting with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul Haq Kakar on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), urging Pakistan to ensure that it taxes the rich and protects the poor.

Speaking to media after the meeting, Kristalina said, "I told the Pakistan prime minister to put more taxes on the rich and protect the poor. And I am sure this is what the people of Pakistan want."

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.

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.

The meeting holds great importance for Pakistan as it seeks approval from the IMF on providing some relief to its citizens on electricity bills, which have triggered countrywide protests and anger among the locals, who question the government for imposing more taxes and increasing electricity tariffs, making it impossible for them to pay their bills.

Mohammad Imran, a local resident in Islamabad, said, "Today, the fuel prices have been increased to record levels, electricity units tariffs have been shot up, inflation has gone up, there are no jobs or business to do, every 15 days, this government imposes more taxes and price hikes. And all of this is being done on those who pay their bills.

"There is no difference in these taxes for the rich and poor. People are committing suicide because they cannot feed their families any more. The IMF and this government need to keep these good talks to themselves. Because in Pakistan, the poor is committing suicide, the middle class families have gotten poor and the rich elite are enjoying their illegal money making through corruption and are not bothered.”

"I work in the construction sector. I have a family of five to feed back home. For the past nine months, there is no work. On top of it, I get these high electricity bills, petrol prices are so high that I cannot even ride my bike anywhere to find work. No one even gives a loan anymore because no one has money. Can this government explain of what wrong have I or my family done? Have I stolen money or have done corruption? No. But still, its me and people like me who are suffering,” said Amanullah, a construction worker in Islamabad.

Indo-Asian News Service

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