Govt’s debt situation laid bare by Economic Affairs Division

PTI government takes no commercial loans during August 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government’s debt situation was laid bare by the release of data by the federal Economic Affairs Division here Friday. Pakistan provisionally received over $820 million of estimated foreign assistance in the first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal 2018-19 against $709.22 million during the corresponding period last year (2017-18).

The PML-N government had received an estimated foreign assistance of $9.69 billion for 2018-19 including $394.34 million grants and $9.297 billion loans, as shown in the Economic Affairs Division’s (EAD) data.

The country received $11.486 billion against the budgeted assistance of $8.094 billion for 2017-18 including $3.716 billion worth of loans from foreign commercial banks.

According to the latest figures, the country provisionally received $129.29 million including $60.54 million loans and $68.74 million grants in August.

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The previous government had budgeted estimates of $2 billion from commercial banks for 2018-19. Pakistan received $70 million worth of two commercial loans from Noor Bank PJSC and a consortium-led by Suisse AG, UBL, and ABL. Noor Bank disbursed $20 million in July out of the total committed amount of $130 million. According to EAD documents, the loan agreement was signed on June 21, 2018 – with the caretaker government in the saddle.

The Suisse AG disbursed $50 million out of its total commitment of $750 million in July. This loan agreement was signed during the PML-N government weeks before its term in office expired – on May 9, 2018.

However, no commercial loans were taken during August 2018 compared to $253 million borrowed in August 2017.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) disbursed $47.42 million in August against the budgeted estimates of $1.38 billion.

The country received $6.75 million from China in August, bringing the total to $296.67 million in the current fiscal year against a budgeted estimate of $840.99 million. This amount includes $166 million for the Orange Line Metro Project, $94.86 million for the Sukkur-Multan section of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC), and $21.85 million for Havelian-Thakot road of CPEC, while $6.75 million was released in August for the Orange Line Metro Project.

The USA disbursed $5.15 million, International Development Association (IDA) $7.38 million, France $8.31 million, Kuwait $0.03 million, UK $39.04 million and Germany $0.86 million in August.

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