External debt, liabilities reach $122bn

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities have surged to 122 billion dollars.

This was revealed by officials of the Economic Affair division in the National Assembly Standing Committee during the EAD meeting under the chair of Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali on Tuesday.

The EAD additional secretary said that an increase of $26 billion was witnessed during the last three years. The external debt, as well as liabilities were $96.6 billion in June 2018 which reached $122 billion on July 31, 2021.

He said that the Paris Club has given $3.78 billion relief to Pakistan including $2.97 billion principal and $814 million interest payment in debt repayment due to Covid-19. However, committee member Qaisar Ahmad Shiekh said that Pakistan could not avail relief from the Paris club due to the appreciation of dollars.

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“An increase of Rs6,000 billion was witnessed in debt due to the depreciation of the rupee,” Qaisar Shiekh said.

The additional secretary replied that the Paris Club has not given any relief on debt payment, instead it deferred the time period of repayment; however, it is correct that the debt amount has been increased due to the depreciation of the rupee.

The EAD additional secretary also briefed the committee about the mandate and functions, organogram and human resources, external debt and liabilities, external inflows, ongoing portfolio, joint commissions and performance of the division.

The committee members expressed their concerns with regard to the increase of external debt and unanimously recommended that an exclusive meeting may be called to discuss the said matter. 

The committee decided that the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would be invited to the next meeting and directed the EAD to furnish details of disbursement of funds for ongoing portfolio to the secretariat.

 

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