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The total servicing of external public debt was $5.344 billion during July-February 2019-20 against the budgeted $10.423 billion for the entire fiscal year, says the Economic Affairs Division (EAD). According to the latest figures released by the EAD, total servicing of external public debt was $5.344 billion during the first eight months of current financial year; $4.190 billion (78 percent of total external public debt servicing) was repaid as principal and $1.154 billion (22 percent) as interest on the outstanding stock of external public debt.

The Division further stated that around 55 percent of total external public debt repaid during fiscal year 2019-20 constitutes the repayments of some of the foreign commercial loans and Sukuk which was obtained/issued by the previous government.

During the first eight months of current fiscal year, the government repaid $1.297 billion of foreign commercial loans and $1 billion of Sukuk issued in December, 2014. Further the government repaid $1.275 billion to multilaterals and $618 million worth of external loans of bilaterals.

Considering foreign exchange constraints, financing of development projects and repayments of these huge external public debts compel the incumbent government to further borrow from multiple sources, EAD stated.

It further stated that net transfers to the government were $1.456 million for the period July-February, 2019-20. Positive net transfers mainly come from programme lending by Asian Development Bank to address fiscal imbalances, ensure macroeconomic stability and secure financial sustainability in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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