Govt borrowed $2.3bn in first half FY19

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has borrowed $2.3 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year (2018-19), according to the Economic Affairs Division.

“During the July-December period of the fiscal year 2018-19, the government borrowed $836 million from China and $500 million from commercial banks,” the EAD stated. “The government also took $339 million in loans from the Asian Development Bank and $272 million from the Islamic Development Bank.”

During the same period in 2017, borrowing from external resources stood at $5.9 billion.

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Earlier, former speaker and PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq had urged the government to take the parliament into confidence over its talk with the International Monetary Fund, Saudi Arabia and China.

Responding to it, Finance Minister Asad Umar had said that the government was seeking loans from multiple sources so that it doesn’t have to agree with the ‘tough terms and conditions’ of IMF while seeking loan.

Pakistan secured a $3billion deal when Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia, he said, adding that Beijing was fully committed to bridging the trade deficit between Pakistan and China.

In 2017, with a deficit of more than $35 billion, Pakistan was ranked eighth in terms of the size of the trade deficit. The country had a trade deficit of $13.9 billion with China and $6.7 billion with the UAE in 2017.

In 2013, the trade deficit with China was $4 billion. Hence, the increase in China Pakistan Economic Corridor-related imports was by far the most important factor in the rising trade deficit.

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