Pakistan owes $53 bn foreign debt

Friday, December 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is under the burden of more than $53 billion foreign debt despite the repayment of over $6 billion in the last three years.

The country has paid $2.3 loan in the last financial year followed by $2.3 billion in 2008-9 and $1.13 billion in 2007-08 along with the interest worth $982.6 million, $872.9 million and $775.4 million, respectively, Minister of State for Finance Hina Rabbani Khar informed the National Assembly.

Replying to a question, Khar said the total amount of debt owed by the country includes $44.8 billion of public and publicly guaranteed loans and $8.9 billion granted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Pak Tribune reported Friday.

To another question, Khar said the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) had provided $47.2 million grants and a loan worth $4.2 billion to Pakistan during the last two years. The amount was disbursed in power, agriculture, infrastructure, education, health, poverty alleviation and environment sectors.

She said the government would receive financial assistance from WB and ADB for the Citizen Damage Compensation programme for rehabilitation of flood-hit people.

She said an MoU has been signed with the WB and the ADB, under which they provided financial assistance of $3 million for flood-affected people that had been passed to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Pakistan has so far received $1.68 billion aid and loans out of $2.33 billion committed by the countries after the 2005 earthquake which hit the country’s northern parts and claimed around 73,000 lives.

In order to curb smuggling along the India-Pakistan border, Pakistan Customs had enhanced surveillance and monitoring of passengers and vehicles and installed baggage-scanning machine, besides manual examination of suspicious baggage, the minister told the house Thursday.

The NA was also informed that Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding with China to set up 27 model villages to introduce alternate energy in the agriculture sector.

Khar said the agreement had been signed between Zarai Taraqiati Bank and a Chinese company that would follow the finalisation of a timeframe and selection of villages.

Filed under: Economy

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