Pakistan procured $40 billion loans in last four years

The incumbent government has contracted a net $17.2 billion of external debt, the highest by any government since 1947.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan procured $40 billion of loans during PML-N’s four-year tenure till end of October 2017.

The figure is $6.2 billion higher than the one shared with the National Assembly last month, reported Express Tribune.

As per data shared by Economic Affairs Division (EAD) with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, gross foreign loan procurement from July 2013-October 2017 was recorded at $34.2 billion.

This $34.2 billion figure excludes the loans obtained from International Monetary Fund, which amounted to $6.2 billion. Loans obtained from IMF are used for balance of payments support and due to lack of coordination, this discrepancy has arisen between EAD and Finance Division.

Adding IMF’s borrowings to the already contracted loans of $34.2 billion in last four years, the amount touches $40.4 billion and if $2.5 billion raised via Euro and Sukuk bond issuances gets added, the figure reaches around $43 billion.

The country’s overall external debt and liabilities stood at $85 billion, as of September 2017 and direct obligations stand at $67.2 billion, which exclude guaranteed and public-sector enterprises debt.

Debt servicing remains a major drag on the federal budget, as the incumbent government failed to create enough non-debt inflows for meeting external account requirements. This is attributable to large domestic and foreign borrowings.

During July-November 2017, the federal government paid Rs625 billion for external and domestic debt servicing. The incumbent government has contracted a net $17.2 billion of external debt, the highest by any government since 1947.

Pakistan during the period of July 2013-October 2017 has paid back $23.2 billion to international creditors which includes the IMF.

IMF gave $6.2 billion loan to Pakistan, but the Washington-based lender has received $1.936 billion from Pakistan as per EAD. During financial year 2013-14 and 2014-15, major payments were made on back of $7.7 billion procured from IMF under stand-by arrangement in 2008.

Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) lent Pakistan over $14.9 billion out of which $7.8 billion have already been returned to creditors over the course of last four years.

China also lent Pakistan over $7.3 billion in last four and a half years. And Pakistan started repaying its Paris Club loans which ex-President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf had got frozen on account of becoming an ally in US-led war on terrorism.

Paris Club has been repaid around $2.536 billion and non-Paris Club members have received $2.84 billion in repayments from Pakistan.

Since July 2013, Pakistan has so far returned $2.536 billion to Paris Club members. Another amount of $2.84 billion was returned to non-Paris Club members.

EAD’s projections for next five years of Pakistan debt servicing cost (2018-19 to 2022-23) stands at $31.4 billion, out of which $10.7 billion has to be paid back to multilateral creditors, $5.6 billion to Paris Club members, $5.8 billion to commercial banks, $4.3 billion of bond repayments and $4.5 billion to non-Paris Club members.

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