Courtesy Business Recorder 19 Nov 16 - by ZAHEER ABBASI
ISLAMABAD: The government has taken $24 billion foreign loans during the last three years – $8.095 billion in 2013-14 followed by $7.921 billion in the subsequent fiscal year and $8.9 billion in the fiscal year of 2015-16.
Sources said that these loans were taken from commercial banks and through issuance of bonds in international market as well as from bilateral and multilateral sources and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The government has reportedly taken $1.8 billion commercial loans and issued $3.5 billion bonds while the amount does not include the latest Sukuk bonds.
The present government has taken $9.7 billion loan from multilateral, $3.61 billion from bilateral and $6.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. Sources added that these figures of borrowing were up to June 2016. An amount of $2.7 billion was paid as mark-up during the aforementioned three years.
The external borrowing is used for balance of payment support, reducing domestic borrowing and fulfilling the foreign obligations.
According to the Finance Ministry, external inflows, altogether, provided stability to rupee exchange rate with other currencies and contributed to foreign exchange reserves. The Ministry added that Government procured US $24.936 billion loans and retired US $11.946 billion with a net addition of $12.990 billion to the debt.
According to the year-wise details, the government has taken a $2 billion loan through issuance of bonds, procured $3.09 billion from multilateral, $1.020 billion from bilateral and $1.6 billion from the IMF in 2013-14. Commercial loans of $323 million were taken in 2013-14.
While in fiscal year 2014-2015, the Government has taken $150 million commercial loans, $1 billion loan through issuance of bonds, borrowed $2.8 billion from multilateral, $1.3 billion and $2.6 billion from the IMF.
In fiscal year 2016-2017, the Government has taken commercial loans of $1.381 billion, raised $500 through issuance of bonds in the international market, borrowed $3.87 billion from multilateral, $1.2 billion from bilateral and received $2.09 billion from the IMF under Extended Fund Facility.
The domestic debt, they added, is perpetual in nature and is constantly refinanced through new issues and three auctions are conducted per month in the market with one for investment bonds of various maturities (3 years or more) and two auctions for treasury bills (of maturities of 3,6, and 12 months). Participation in each auction ranges from Rs 100 billion to Rs 500 billion and accordingly the government refinances its domestic debt from domestic market as a standard practice.