Cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking around USD 11 billion from China and Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to fill external and domestic resource gaps so that the IMF bailout programme remains on track to ensure economic stability until an elected government is formed in the country, according to a media report on Friday.
It comes amid the caretaker government's push for expanding the tax net effectively to retail, agricultural and real estate sectors while continuing a crackdown on illegal currency movements.
The Dawn newspaper reported that this information was part of a detailed policy statement issued by caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, presided over by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in Islamabad on Thursday.
She said the government was currently working on an economic revival plan that would be presented to the caretaker prime minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar soon and shared with the Senate Standing Committee on Finance.
She said the caretaker government had a limited scope to undertake deep-rooted structural reforms but promised to deliver on reforms that were part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to ensure the disbursement of a USD 700 million loan instalment.
The public debt rose sharply over the last two years, mainly because of devaluations and interest rate hikes.
She deplored that even the debt relief from G20 countries for the poor nations had also been consumed without ensuring high-return investments, the paper said.
She said the authorities were also working on amending laws to bring retail, agriculture and real estate into an effective tax net because no government could ever control twin deficits without doing this.
Akhtar said the caretaker government was seeking support from courts to get the pending cases resolved to generate an additional Rs 3 trillion.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) recently announced it would hold the election in the last week of January after finalising the setting up of electoral districts in light of the data of the census, which was held earlier this year.