The government is falling short on the next target set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and has announced to cut back on expenditures in order to make up for the losses incurred due to revenue collection. Revenue collection is posing a lot of trouble for the government, despite them successively changing their targets in the last two fiscal years. Revenue collection is a tricky business in Pakistan, especially with a new party in government and the economy barely stabilising.

The Ministry of Finance announced that the government will not touch the developmental budget to make up for these losses, however, it is planning on curbing civil expenditures instead of finding more avenues for revenue collection. This is not good enough. The government should also look into individuals or groups interested in whitening their money in the economy. We have seen a mushroom growth of events in the country with individuals trying to legalise money that they have accumulated over the years. The government should be made aware of such programmes so they can also take the opportunity to bridge these gaps in the economy that are posed due to losses in revenue collection.

Cutting back on civil expenditures at this point will burden the masses even more. While the government is doing its best to facilitate the people, it is important to not pressurise them beyond the limit. The greater the pressure, the greater there are chances of crimes increasing within the society as well. The government needs to improve the basic function of revenue collection – incentivise all the relevant stakeholders involved in order to also prove to the IMF that Pakistan is capable of fulfilling its promises and does not ignore processes that can be improved. The IMF conditions continue to have a significant impact on the Pakistani economy and it was difficult gaining this help this time due to unfulfilled promises by previous governments. This government is under a lot of pressure to deal with problems pending for a long time.