As the government worked to meet the requirements for unlocking the $1.1 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan tranche, Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar introduced the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023, also known as the “mini-budget,” in the National Assembly and Senate on Wednesday.
In order to satisfy the requirements set forth by the Washington-based lender, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government intends to cut the budget deficit and widen its tax collection net through the “mini-budget.”
The National Assembly will not be sending the bill for further deliberations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, while the Senate has referred the legislation to the relevant committee.
The idea calls for raising the GST on upscale goods from 17% to 25%. Senior Ministry of Finance officials informed me earlier that they anticipate the bill to pass by Thursday morning, clearing the door for cash from multilateral and bilateral partnerships as well as the IMF.