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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Friday that the total amount of foreign loans and aid received by the present government from April 11, 2022 to September 30, 2022 amounts to $5.666 billion, whereas, disbursement received against loans is $ 5.61 billion, and disbursement received against grants is $ 55.92 million.

This was stated by Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in a written reply to a question asked by the members.

The house was also told that the total borrowing during the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stood at $47,105.85 million from August 2018 to April 2022.

He said that a sum of $3,513.07 million was borrowed as bilateral financing, $4,500 million got from bonds, $15,121.93 million from commercial banks, $15,583.86 million from multilateral sources, $1,000 million from safe deposits, $3,000 million borrowed from time deposits, and $4,387 million borrowed from International Monitory Fund (IMF).

In another written reply, Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar told the house that the total value of liquid foreign, reserves of the country is $ 13.722 billion as of November 04, 2022.

Pakistan incurs $439mn of external debt in first two months of FY23: EAD

He said that foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are $7.957 billion while net foreign reserves held by commercial banks are $ 5.76 billion.

He said that the reserves position reflects liquid foreign exchange reserves and does not include gold reserves, adding the current count deficit widened to $17.4 billion (4.6 percent of GDP) and CPI Inflation rose to 12.2 percent in financial year 22.

He said that the exchange rate depreciated by 23.1 percent in the same period. He said that US monetary tightening (increase in Fed rate from 0.5 percent in March 2022 to 4.0 percent in November 2022) and consequent US Dollar’s broad-based strengthening against other currencies and domestic political uncertainty added to these challenges.

He said that Pakistan is facing macroeconomic challenges owing to a sharp rise in global commodity prices, supply disruptions, higher shipping costs and the Russia-Ukraine conflict at the start of 2022. Elevated global commodity prices (especially of energy) not only increased pressure on foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate through inflating Pakistan’s import bill but also fuelled inflationary pressures in the economy.

Q1 FY23: External debt, liabilities dip over $3bn

During question hour in the house, the State Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, informed the house that 50 percent economy of the country is undocumented as per studies already indicated including the IMF and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

She said that all-out efforts are being made to bring reforms in the tax collection system to generate maximum tax to create further facilities both at the taxpayer and the common man’s end.

There were two ways to bring improvement in the revenue collection which according to Pasha were convincing the business community about the benefits of being a taxpayer and the other to put strict enforcement measures in place.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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