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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan incurred foreign debt of $5.688 billion from multiple financing sources in the first half (July-December) of 2020-21 including $2.056 billion from foreign commercial banks i.e. 46 percent of total budgeted external loans of $12.233 billion for the entire fiscal year 2020-21.

The Economic Affairs Division data released on Wednesday shows that in December the country received $1.18 billion external inflows from multiple financing sources including $432.97 million from foreign commercial banks.

The external inflows during the corresponding period (July-December) of fiscal year 2019-20 were $5.915 billion which were also around (46 percent) of the annual budgeted amount of $12.958 billion.

The total receipt of $5.688 billion constitutes $1.634 billion or 29 percent as programme:budgetary support assistance; $2.054 billion (36 percent) as borrowing from foreign commercial banks; and $754 million (13 percent) as project assistance to finance development projects and $246 million (4 percent) as commodity financing while $1 billion (18 percent) was received as safe deposits from China.

According to the data, the government procured $2.056 billion loans from foreign commercial banks during July-December 2020, including $34.62 million from Ajman Bank, $219.52 million from the Standard Chartered Bank (London), $815.11 million from Dubai Bank, $115 million were received from the consortium-led by Suisse AG, the UBL, and ABL, $370 million from Emirates NBD, and $500 million from the ICBC, China. The data also reflects $1 billion of safe China deposit.

The bilateral and multilateral development partners disbursed$2.633 billion during the period under review (July-December) 2020 against the budgetary allocation of $5.811 billion for fiscal year 2020-21.

Among the multilateral development partners, Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided $1.120 billion and World Bank disbursed $744 million against the budgetary allocation of $2.257 billion. While from bilateral sources, France, USA and China provided $34.3 million, $70.5 million and $95.4 million respectively.

According to the EAD data during the first six months of current financial year total servicing of external public debt was $2.924 billion against the annual repayment estimates of $10.363 billion for the entire fiscal year. During July-November 2020-21, the government settled $1.546 billion of foreign commercial loans.

For the period July- November, 2020-21, net transfers to the government were $1.946 billion. Positive net transfers came mainly due to higher inflows from multilateral development partners and due to $1,000 million of time safe deposit from China. According to EAD, the stock of external loans which was obtained on market based instruments has increased by $187 million and the share of concessional external loans with longer maturity increased by $760 million.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021