In November, Pakistan and the IMF again failed to agree conditions for release of the sixth instalment of the country’s Stand-by Agreement. The Fund is insisting on the country implementing a reformed general sales tax and ending electricity subsidies before further disbursement. Matti Kohonen of NGO Tax Justice Network said that “the sales taxes postulated by the IMF are regressive and borne disproportionately by Pakistan’s poor. Instead it should focus on stopping illicit capital flight, particularly corporate tax evasion to find more revenue to fund basic services and disaster relief efforts.” The Pakistani senate called for debt relief in November (see Update 72).
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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