Pakistan’s Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Monday that the demand by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to hike the electricity tariff to release more funds could lead to further inflation in the country.
Tarin said this during a meeting of the National Assembly’s sub-committee on finance, according to sources in the finance division.
According to the minister, it is unfair to push Pakistan to increase its electricity tariff as it will only affect the country’s economy negatively.
While hinting at reviewing the programme with the IMF, the minister said Pakistan had assured the lender of reducing circular debt, but the demand for increasing electricity tariff is not understandable.
He said if Gross Domestic Product growth was not increased by at least 5 per cent, the country could face a serious crisis in several years to come.
The minister added that the growth rate would only improve if the economy was moving swiftly, with a special focus on agriculture and industries.
Tarin said the government had been working toward broadening the tax net, but could not force people to pay more taxes under the current scenario.
Pakistan has promised the IMF to increase taxes by 1.272 trillion rupees and raise electricity tariff by almost 5 rupees per unit, according to local media.