our staff reporter ISLAMABAD - Former Director International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dr Ehtesham Ahmed Monday said that currently Pakistan is facing same challenges as it faced in 2007 economic crisis including soaring oil prices at international market, delay in tax reforms and no easy access for IMF programme, which is an alarming situation. He came down hard on the government for its slow pace for tax reforms and said that Pakistan has one of the lowest taxes to GDP ratio in the world. He revealed that IMF did not ask for value added tax, as Pakistan itself asked the international donor that it would bring it in order to improve its tax to GDP ratio, however it remained failed so far to do. He went on say that Pakistan has to take tax to GDP to 14 per cent from existing 9.5 per cent in next five years as committed with the IMF. This he said while addressing a seminar on The Urgency of Tax Reform: The Challenge to the Macroeconomic Situation and Devolution which was organised by the IDEAS, The Asia Research Center at London School of Economics, Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn, and the National Press Club. He was of the view that Value Added Tax (VAT) or RGST is need of the hour, as it already exists in more than 140 countries of the world. He dispelled the impression that VAT/RGST would increase the inflation and added that there was no study, which shows that it would increase the inflation rate in the country. The inflation only rises because of the borrowing from the central bank, which happens due to the non-revenue collection, he added. The IMF has given up now and made it clear to the government of Pakistan that it was the time for the action, he said and added that IMF would not sent its mission to Pakistan for reviewing economic situation for the second last tranche of the standby loan programme until it did not fulfil the commitments made. Similarly, he observed that World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other international donors had stopped their budgetary support for Pakistan until Islamabad could not get Letter of Comfort from the IMF. He was of the view that USA might rescue Pakistan if we demand aid. However, Washington could tie it with the operation in North Waziristan Agency. He further informed that in 2008 IMF refused to give standby programme to Pakistan however on the intervention of US it gave it. Dr Ehtesham said that we should not be happy with the foreign exchange reserves, as majority of the reserves are of the IMF loan. He further said that governments new growth strategy has no plan to increase the tax to GDP ratio and similarly the government could not attain 15 per cent tax to GDP as set in Gilanis Sustainable Plan for economy. Asrar Rauf, Additional Secretary, Revenue Division, said the FBR was efficiently working to enhance the tax revenue of the country. Other speakers stressed on the revenue generation of the country as they were of the view that 10 per cent tax to GDP was not enough to run the country and it lead to borrowing from the other sources. They also said that every income must be taxed without any discrimination. They were of the view that if China and Sri Lank can improve their tax to GDP ratio then why Pakistan could not?