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February 09, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. PM announces 15pc increase in security forces` salary
• Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced an increase of 15 per cent in the salary of Frontier Corps and Rangers personnel as he paid rich tribute to soldiers who had sacrificed their lives while repulsing the recent terrorist attacks on security forces` camps in Nushki and Panjgur.
• Speaking to troops at an FC camp in Nushki during his daylong visit along with Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and federal ministers on Tuesday, PM Khan said some for-eign hands wanted to destabilise Pakistan to achieve their nefarious designs, but the country`s brave and strong security forces would foil all such attempts with the support of the entire nation
2. IMF wants Pakistan to `do more` than just levying taxes
• Pakistan should not be limited to taking measures related to tax alone, but it should also find other ways to enhance the competitiveness of the economy, said IMF`s Resident Representative Ms Esther Perez Ruiz.
• Speaking to the office bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, she said the purpose of the IMF programme is to promote macroeconomic stability and the country`s fiscal and monetary policies must promote the former`s vision in this regard.
• She said the IMF programme`s aim is to bring a set of policies that could promote sustainable and inclusive growth
3. WB seeks `actions` for 2nd phase of loan plan
• The World Bank has sought at least four crucial `prior actions` for the second phase of a multi-million dollar loan programme to advance the reform process Resilient Institutions Strengthening Programme (RISE-II).
• The key prior actions would require the authorities to ensure harmonisation of General Sales Tax (GST) among the federal and provincial governments, control rising debt burden through amendments to the Fiscal Responsibility & Debt Limitation Act 2005, bring uniformity in provincial property valuations for tax purposes and ensure complete clearance of GST refunds.
• RISE-II is an extension of an earlier programme approved in 2019 and is meant to support measures to enhance the country`s fiscal position and promote competitiveness and growth through harmonisation of the GST, increased use of digital financial services, and enhanced integrity in the financial sector
4. TTP still active with up to 5,000 fighters: UN
• The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) still has between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters in Afghanistan, reports a team of UN monitors.
• The report, sent to the UN Security Council, also warns that a Taliban-run `Afghanistan has the potential to become a safe haven for Al Qaedaand a number of terror groups with ties to the Central Asia region and beyond`.
• The US government and various UN agencies have long claimed that Al Qaeda has been active in Afghanistan since the beginning of the Afghan jihad.
• US officials also say that despite a public pledge to curb Al Qaeda activities, Afghanistan`s new Taliban leaders are not doing so, a claim the Taliban deny.
5. South Punjab is most deprived region in province: UNDP
• The poor endowment of social services in south Punjab has raised the issue of whether the region has been `neglected` in the provincial and local development allocations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says in a new report.
• South Punjab is the most deprived region in the province in terms of basic services, such as sanitation facilities, and data shows only 56.2 per cent of the population uses improved sanitation facilities