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ISLAMABAD: The government has revised upward the estimated foreign assistance to Rs5.503 trillion by around 74 percent from the initial budgeted Rs3.166 trillion for the current fiscal year 2022-23, after incorporating the estimated assistance of Rs558 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rs558 billion from Saudi Arabia (time deposit), and Rs744 billion of SAFE China deposit.

The original budget that the government tabled in the National Assembly on June 10 showed foreign assistance of Rs3.166 trillion for 2022-23 including Rs1.389 trillion (44 per cent) from foreign commercial banks against Rs2.747 trillion budgeted for the fiscal year 2021-22.

However, the budget documents tabled on June 10, had not included the assistance from IMF, Saudi Arabia (time deposit), and China SAFE deposit. After the revision, the external resources of Rs5.503 trillion projected for 2022-23 are greater by more than 200 per cent from the initial Rs2.7 trillion budgeted for 2021-22.

This correspondent tried to find out what rupee-dollar parity was used for the updated budget documents; however, no response was received from the Finance Ministry till the filing of this report. The government had taken the rupee-dollar parity at 183 in the budget presented on June 10.

Pakistan has received $3 billion under the IMF $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme. In the updated budget documents, the government has budgeted Rs588 billion from the IMF for budgetary support for 2022-23. The government had budgeted Rs496 billion from the IMF for the fiscal year 2021-22 for budgetary support; however, no amount was initially budgeted for the fiscal year 2022-23 from the Fund.

Further, no amount was budgeted from China SAFE deposits for the fiscal year 2022-23 in the initial budget; however, in the updated documents, Rs744 billion has been estimated under this head. The country had budgeted no amount under this head in 2021-22 budget; however, in the revised budget for 2021-22 the amount was Rs700 billion.

Foreign aid estimated at Rs3.166trn

The government has budgeted Rs148.8 billion from Saudi Arabia (oil facility) for the current fiscal year against zero for the fiscal year 2021-22 which was revised to Rs70 billion. In the updated document the government budgeted Rs558 billion from Saudi Arabia (time deposit) which was not reflected in the initial budget.

In the initial budget presented on June 10, the government had budgeted estimates of Rs722.341 billion under the head of programme loans and Rs2.133 trillion under the head of other loans. However, in the updated budget documents, the government has budgeted Rs1.243 trillion under the head of programme loans and Rs3.993 trillion under the head of other loans.

The programme loans estimated in the budget for 2022-23 are classified as Rs140.884 billion from Asian Development Bank (ADB), Rs159.608 billion from International Development Association (IDA), Rs115.878 billion from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and Rs303.180 billion from Pakistan certificates.

The government has budgeted Rs1.389 trillion from foreign commercial banks for 2022-23 against Rs779.2 billion for 2021-22 which was later revised upward to Rs821.923 billion.

The government has budgeted Rs372 billion from Euro bond/international Sukuk for 2022-23 against Rs560 billion budgeted for the current fiscal year which is revised to Rs342.544 billion. The government has budgeted Rs223.2 billion from Islamic Development Bank for the fiscal year 2022-23 against Rs160 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22 which was later revised to Rs232.225 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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