Pakistan obtained $2,557.39 million foreign loans till January 2017, Senate informed

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid Thursday informed the Senate that an amount of US$ 2,557.39 million foreign loans was obtained during the fiscal year 2016-17 up to January 31, 2017 from international organizations.      

During Question Hour in the Upper House, the minister said that debt servicing was made through budgetary allocation based on amortization schedule of each loan.

While giving details, the minister said out of the said amount US$ 1200 have been obtained from China Development Bank, China ICBC and Noor Bank while US$ 1255 were obtained from the multilateral institutions like Asian Development Bank (ADB), AIIB, IBRD, IDA, IDB, IDB (ST) and IFAD.

The minister further stated that during fiscal year 2016-17 up to January 31, 2017, Pakistan had received an amount of US$ 102.1 million from International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Borrowing under EFF is subject to IMF’s market related interest rate and normal service charges for special drawing rights assessments.

The minister said on receipt of demand notice from lender, payment authority is accordingly issued before due date of payment to State Bank of Pakistan for remitting the amount on due date to the lender.

Zahid Hamid said that State Bank makes the payments and communicate the same to Economic Affair Division (EAD) for taking into account the impact of payment.

The minister said the expenditure incurred on the debt servicing of foreign loans was reconciled with the office of AGPR and State Bank of Pakistan on regular basis.

When asked whether the quantum was going up, the minister said, quantum might go up but the government had the capacity to repay these loans.

The federal minister said in certain cases where the loans had been obtained for different activities including the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the terms and conditions were favorable including the grace periods and the interest rate.

While answering a supplementary question regarding facilities to bank account holders, the minister said where there were lockers available at banks, the customers were facilitated accordingly.

About facilities to senior citizens, the minister said banks had been directed to accommodate them on priority and had been asked to set up special counters for them.