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ISLAMABAD: The government signed new loan agreements worth $422 million i.e. 18 percent during the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year with development partners, compared to $2.34 billion of the corresponding period of last year, says Economic Affairs Division (EAD).

The official data revealed that as of 30th September 2022 Pakistan’s total external public debt stood at $86.5 billion, in comparison to $88.8 billion on 30th June 2022.

Out of the total new agreements, $213 million of financing agreements were signed with multilateral development partners, $200 million with foreign commercial banks, and $9 million with bilateral partners.

Among the multilateral development partners, IsDB emerged as the largest partner in terms of new commitments of Foreign Economic Assistance (FEA) of $161 million (38 percent of total commitments) followed by IFAD ($50 million).

During this period (July-September 2022), total disbursements of $2.234 billion were made under the project and program loans/grants by the World Bank, ADB, and IsDB, being the largest contributors amongst the multilateral development partners. In the bilateral category, Saudi Arabia was the largest contributor to total disbursements in the specified time. In terms of project financing, the Environment Sector received the largest share of disbursements, i.e. 32 percent of the total project financing.

The composition of disbursements comprises on $1.166 billion or 52 percent of total disbursements were received from International Monetary Fund, $682 million or 30 percent of total disbursements were from multilateral development partners, mainly from World Bank, ADB, and IsDB (ST); and $386 million or 17 percent of the total disbursement were from bilateral development partners; mainly from Saudi Arabia. The World Bank disbursed $ 446 million (20 million of the total disbursements), disaggregated as $158 million for program financing and $288 million for project financing. Saudi Arabia disbursed $300 million followed by ADB ($112 million).

In terms of debt servicing of external public loans, the government repaid $2.588 billion during the first quarter of 2022-23. Of this, repayments of the principal amount stood at $2.063 billion, whereas, repayments on account of interest were $525 million. Furthermore, the net transfers of the government’s external public debt were $142 million—indicating that the flow of funds marginally increased during the 1st quarter of 2022-23.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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