Middle East and Central Asia > Pakistan

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


The Middle East and Central Asia is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by rapid GDP growth and high oil and non-oil commodity prices. The report presents common economic trends and reviews prospects and policies for the coming year in light of the global economic environment. This latest REO includes boxes treating both regional topics--such as growth in the Maghreb countries; developments in the oil markets; the boom in the GCC countries, and the impact of the recent global credit squeeze on the region--and country-specific reviews, of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the UAE.

Mr. Ludvig Söderling, Mrs. Hanan Morsy, Mr. Martin Petri, Mr. Martin Hommes, Ms. Manal Fouad, and Wojciech Maliszewski
Public debt in the Middle East increased during the mid-1990s mainly because of fiscal expansions. It decreased in recent years, thanks to high oil revenue, economic growth, some primary non-oil fiscal adjustment, and debt relief. While countries in the Middle East appear to have adequately reacted to high indebtedness in the past, public debt levels remain uncomfortably high in many, particularly non-oil producing countries and middle income oil producers. Non-oil countries adjust mainly by increasing revenues, whereas oil countries adjust expenditure. For non-oil producing countries, substantial fiscal adjustment would be needed to bring debt down to below 50 percent of GDP. Oil producers as a group appear to follow sustainable, though procyclical, fiscal policies. Middle-income (but not high-income) oil producing countries would need to adjust somewhat to bring their policies in line with the permanent oil income benchmark.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Mahmood Hasan Khan and Mr. Mohsin S. Khan
Pakistan’s economic performance has been marred by persistently high fiscal deficits which have resulted largely from the inability to raise sufficient revenues. Agriculture is a dominant sector of the economy, but generates very limited revenue from direct taxes on agricultural producers. The paper first reviews the history of attempts to tax agriculture in Pakistan, the purpose of which is to underscore the difficulty in adopting and implementing a sound agricultural tax policy. It then examines various alternatives with regard to the taxation of agricultural land and incomes. Finally, it presents the outlines of a full-fledged agricultural income tax that could be implemented within the Constitutional framework in the next three to five years.