ISLAMABAD    -    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday said Pakistan needs to increase its tax revenue in order to fund development. In a press briefing, IMF Director Communications Gerry Rice said, “One of the key elements of the program that the IMF is supporting in Pakistan, Pakistan’s program, is the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue to fund much needed social and development spending while placing debt on a firm downward trend.”

Rice further said this was something that was emphasised by acting Managing Director David Lipton during his recent meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Let me add that we expect an IMF team to be in Pakistan in the next few days, including our Director for that area, Jihad Azur will be there,” he added. On July 10, Pakistan received the first tranche of loan of $991.4 million from the IMF under the under Extended Fund Facility (EFF). According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), following the loan from the IMF, the country’s foreign exchange reserves now stand at above $15.0431 billion. The IMF’s Executive Board on July 3 had approved a three-year bailout package worth $6 billion to Pakistan.