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June 25, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Govt eyes coffers of wealthy to appease IMF
• The coalition government announced new tax measures on Friday, including a 10 per cent `super tax` on 13 large industries to raise an additional Rs465 billion in revenue, in an attempt to trim the budget deficit to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.
• High net worth individuals will also be subject to a `poverty alleviation tax`.
• Those whose annual income exceeds Rs150 million will be taxed at 1pc; for Rs200m at 2pc; Rs250m at 3pc; and Rs300m at 4pc of their income.
• The announcement comes amid hopes that the country will soon clinch an agreement to unlock a new tranche of IMF funds, which are needed to avert a balance-of-payments crisis
2. SBP gets $2.3bn Chinese loan
• Finally, the government succeeded to get rollover the Chinese loan of $2.3 billion and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) received the amount in its account on June 24, 2022.
• Finance Minister Miftah Ismail tweeted he was pleased to announce that Chinese Consortium loan of RMB15bn (roughly $2.3bn) has been credited into SBP account, increasing foreign exchange reserves.
• With the inflows of $2.3bn Chinese loan the total SBP reserves entered double digit to touch $10.5bn.
• Earlier on April 1, the rupee plunged to a historic low of Rs183.70 against US dollar in the interbank market after the SBP reported a massive outflow of $2.9bn. The SBP announced its foreign exchange reserves dropped to $12.047bn during the week ending on March 25 due to a major repayment of Chinese loans, while the rest was regular debt servicing
3. KP raises minimum wage to Rs26,000
• Setting a high bar for other provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has raised the minimum wage to Rs26,000 per month from Rs21,000.
• Chief Minister Mahmood Khan announced the increase on Friday in a speech at the provincial assembly, which met to approve the next fiscal year`s budget. He stressed that the increased wage limit should be implemented immediately.
• Other provinces currently have a minimum wage of Rs25,000. Similarly, the federal government has also fixed it at Rs25,000.
• The minimum wage is applicable to every citizen, regardless of employer, location or nature of work
4. AJK cabinet approves budget
• Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) cabinet on Friday approved the region`s budget for the next Fiscal year to be unveiled on the floor of the Legislative Assembly on Saturday.
• The budget the first by PTI government after assuming office in August last year will be presented by minister for finance and inland revenue Abdul Majid Khan.
• Presentation of the budget was delayed by the AJK government in a bid to mount pressure on the federal government for withdrawal of the latter`s decision to impose cuts on the territory`s development and recurring budget in the wake of the country`s poor economic health
5. 3.5m BD children lack safe water after floods, says UN
• The United Nations said on June 24, 2022 that 3.5 million children in Bangladesh urgently needed safe drinking water following this month`s devastating floods.
• Unicef, the UN children`s agency, said it needed $2.5 million quickly in order to fund its emergency response.
• Relentless downpours last week inundated vast stretches of Bangladesh`s northeast, with troops deployed to evacuate households cut off from neighbouring communities.
• `The situation caused by flash noods in northeastern Bangladesh has deteriorated rapidly over the last week,` Sheldon Yett, Unicef`s representative to the South Asian country, told reporters in Geneva via video link