Pakistan’s external debt has increased up to US$ 26 billion during the last three years government tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, as it is over US$ 122 billion.
This was revealed in a briefing by Additional Secretary Economic Affairs Division Zulfiqar Haider to the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, held with Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali in the chair, at the Parliament House on Tuesday.
The Committee was informed that the total external debt of Pakistan in June 2018 was $96 billion and it increased by more than $26 billion in the last three years. Now, the volume of the external debt owed to Pakistan is over US$ 122.44 billion.
In his briefing, the Additional Secretary said the total debt of the Paris Club was $3.785 billion, out of which the debt was more than $2.97 billion and the interest rate was $814 million. He informed the Committee that the Paris Club had given relief in repayment of debt due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
The Committee members expressed their concerns over the increase in the external debt and unanimously recommended convening a special meeting to discuss the matter. The Committee decided that the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would also be invited to the next meeting.
It directed the Economic Affairs Division to furnish the details of disbursement of funds for the ongoing portfolio to the Secretariat.
The Additional Secretary further informed the Committee about the establishment of ‘Joint Commissions’ for bilateral ‘Joint Economic Global’ phenomenon. He said that 67 JMCs and other bilateral commissions had been established since 1970. The Committee also directed the Economic Affairs Division to provide the details of external loans for the years 1972, 1985, 1999, 2008, 2017, and 2021 with the comparison of the dollar exchange rate at that time during the first month of each year.
On the other hand, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz commented that comparatively, the dollar was Rs. 50 cheaper when this relief was given. He said that due to the Rupee devaluation, the country had to pay according to the new exchange rate. He added that the Rupee devaluation caused huge losses to the country and Pakistan’s external debt increased manyfold, causing pressure on the economy.
Source: Pro Pakistani