To­tal pub­lic debt stands at $51.3 bil­lion: Ishaq Dar

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Sen­a­tor Ishaq Dar on Satur­day said the to­tal pub­lic ex­ter­nal debt as of Novem­ber 30, 2015 stood at $51.31 bil­lion whereas by Septem­ber 30, th­ese were recorded at $48.13 bil­lion thus show­ing an in­crease of $3.2 bil­lion in two years of the cur­rent govern­ment.

"Un­der the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) pro­gram, the cur­rent govern­ment has so far re­ceived $5.2 bil­lion out of which it paid back $4.42 bil­lion as debt re­ceived by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments", he said while ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence here. He said the to­tal debt of the coun­try in­creased from Rs 14,400 bil­lion by Septem­ber 30, 2013 to Rs 18,224 bil­lion by Novem­ber 30, 2015. He clar­i­fied that the govern­ment's debt were not agreed on higher rates as the av­er­age cost of to­tal debts re­mained only 3.3 per­cent.

Dar said the coun­try was now mov­ing to­wards right di­rec­tion and the Pak­istan Mus­lim League (N) govern­ment had suc­ceeded in bring­ing num­ber of re­forms in the na­tional econ­omy which was suf­fer­ing at the time when it took over the charge. "The coun­try's rev­enue has wit­nessed a very good progress dur­ing first six months of cur­rent fis­cal year (2015-16), the rev­enue col­lec­tion in­creased by 18.6 per­cent to Rs 1385 bil­lion as com­pared to same pe­riod of pre­vi­ous year", added the min­is­ter. He said the IMF had also ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over achiev­ing the rev­enue col­lec­tion tar­get. He in­formed that dur­ing first quar­ter of cur­rent fis­cal year, the govern­ment could not achieve the rev­enue tar- get of Rs 640 bil­lion and there was a short­fall of Rs 40 bil­lion while in the se­cond quar­ter, it sur­passed the tar­get of Rs 750 bil­lion as it achieved Rs 785 bil­lion dur­ing the pe­riod.

Ear­lier, Patchamuthu Il­lan­go­van, called on Fi­nance Min­is­ter Sen­a­tor Mo­ham­mad Ishaq Dar here on Satur­day and fe­lic­i­tated him on suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of the 10th IMF re­view. Shar­ing de­tails re­gard­ing ar­range­ments for the visit of World Bank Pres­i­dent with Mr. Il­lan­go­van, the min­is­ter also dis­cussed ar­eas that were likely to come up for dis­cus­sion dur­ing the visit, said a min­istry state­ment. The World Bank Coun­try Di­rec­tor said ef­forts for pro­mot­ing for­eign in­vest­ment in Pak­istan and de­vel­op­ment of health and education sec­tors would re­ceive par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion of the vis­it­ing dig­ni­tary.

"Aim­ing high for a pros­per­ous Pak­istan" was the World Bank's out­look for the coun­try, he said. It was in that spirit that visit of Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim to Pak­istan was tak­ing place, Il­lan­go­van re­marked. Min­is­ter Dar and the World Bank Coun­try Di­rec­tor also dis­cussed mat­ters re­lat­ing to the DPC-III on growth. The min­is­ter ap­pre­ci­ated the con­tin­u­ous co­op­er­a­tion that the World Bank was ex­tend­ing for var­i­ous projects in Pak­istan. He hoped that with the visit of World Bank Pres­i­dent, this co­op­er­a­tion would be fur­ther strength­ened. Mr Il­lon­go­van thanked the min­is­ter for the ar­range­ments be­ing made for the visit of World Bank Pres­i­dent, who was due to ar­rive in Is­lam­abad on Feb 9. Se­nior of­fi­cials of the Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Affairs Divi­sion at­tended the meet­ing.

The govern­ment has made no com­mit­ments with the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) to in­crease gas tar­iff or to re­cover power sec­tor's cir­cu­lar debt from con­sumers through elec­tric­ity bills, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ishaq Dar said. "There is no truth in re­ports that we have made any such prom­ise," he told a press con­fer­ence, re­fer­ring to state­ments from political par­ties that the govern­ment, dur­ing re­cent talks with the IMF in Dubai, had promised to in­crease gas tar­iff and re­cover cir­cu­lar debt from con­sumers.

"My eco­nomic team is wit­ness to all ne­go­ti­a­tions in Dubai," said Dar, flanked by Spe­cial As­sis­tant to Prime Min­is­ter on Rev­enue Ha­roon Akhtar, Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue (FBR) Chair­man Nisar Mo­ham­mad Khan and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of traders. On the next Na­tional Fi­nance Com­mis­sion ( NFC) award, the min­is­ter hinted that the 7th NFC may con­tinue for an­other year as well. How­ever, the name of pri­vate mem­ber of Pun­jab was sent to the pres­i­dent for ap­proval, he said.

An­swer­ing a ques­tion, he said the cen­tre was not go­ing to in­crease the ra­tio of funds to the govern­ment of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa for war on ter­ror from ex­ist­ing one per cent to 5pc un­der the next NFC award. On the pri­vati­sa­tion of Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (PIA), the min­is­ter said that his govern­ment in­creased the fleet from 16 to 38 and im­proved the air­line's flight op­er­a­tions to 80pc. He also dis­pelled any doubts that 8,000 em­ploy­ees of the com­pany would be laid off, adding: "We want to im­prove PIA's per­for­mance through bet­ter man­age­ment."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.