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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Economic Gurus: No escaping the IMF
By: Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri
The government is quite mindful of the fact that uncertainty it is negatively hurting the economy, but the government is also trying to ensure that the IMF conditions do not hurt the people of Pakistan too much. So the government is making a decision based on whether people will be more hurt due to market uncertainty or by the IMF conditions. The government is also working on a Plan B; we have already received a commitment of $3 billion from the UAE and very soon there will be oil facility on deferred payment from the UAE.
In addition to what we received from Saudi Arabia, this will reduce our dependency on the IMF. We still may have to go to the IMF for a letter of comfort, but due to Saudi Arabia/UAE’s support and possibly some Chinese support, which is in the pipeline, if it gets materialized then, of course, the government would have a minimum need to go to the IMF. All the economic reforms the IMF wants the government is also committed to, be it in the energy sector or reducing the fiscal deficit, by curtailing import and boosting exports and expanding the tax net.
The government is making a decision based on whether people will be more hurt due to market uncertainty or by the IMF conditions.
These entire reforms lie quite close to what government policymakers have been doing on their own pace and time duration, while IMF would like to do it at a faster pace and in the minimum time, however, that would be a painful process for Pakistan in terms of people and the economy. My personal opinion is that we should go to the IMF, despite the Saudi, UAE and possible Chinese assistance, because in order to engage with other multilateral donors, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank or others.
I would even recommend that we float bonds on the open market, we need to have a letter of comfort from the IMF, that will actually guarantee our economy is sound enough so that investors can invest or creditors can provide credit to Pakistan. Hence for that purpose, I would recommend that we should go to IMF, even if for a very short amount and duration so that we can stabilize our macro-economy. That new taxes in the wake of an IMF program will affect the common man, this is exactly why the government is delaying going to the IMF.

The government is mindful of the fact that it would have to raise taxes to increase revenue. The delay which has been going on since the last four months is because the government has still not finalized its ‘package’ with the IMF, for precisely the reason that it would be hurtful. The government wants to minimize this pain to the common person. When it comes to broadening the tax rate, I think the tax rate should be expanded.
So in order to raise revenue, we can either tax our existing taxpayer or we can bring back those whose income or revenues are above the threshold and are not paying any taxes, we should rope them in. The last question is then a lot of people complain about the complicated tax filing system. People have, at many times, called upon the government to simplify the tax filing system, because it is too complicated As part of the government efforts to widen the tax net, tax return filing system should be simplified.
As far as my information is concerned, the finance minister and state minister for revenue are already aware of this factor. They would very soon present comprehensive reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue’s tax filing system. The sooner it happens the better it will be for the people as well as the government.


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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.