Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday confirmed that a $2 billion loan from China has been rolled over and the matter is “no longer pending”, denying reports that talks were still in progress.
Dar responded to a question posed in Parliament by Senator Raza Rabbani of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) by saying, “I want to confirm that the $2 billion deposit from China, which was due on 23 March, is no longer pending.”
Additionally, the paperwork (for this loan) for 2023–24 has been completed, he added.
Earlier, Reuters had reported According to a top official in the finance ministry, China is still considering Pakistan’s request to extend the loan that expired last week.
Under the condition of confidentiality, the official said, “It is a work in progress.” A formal announcement will be made and “formal documentation is underway,” they added.
Dar, however, criticized the story as “totally speculative.”
The South Asian country needs to roll over its debt because its foreign currency reserves are now only enough to cover four weeks’ worth of imports and it is currently in bailout negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Technical-level talks with IMF are over: Ishaq Dar
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday said that “all technical-level discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)” are over. However, the minister refrained from giving a timeline on when the deal will be inked.
During a Question/Answer session at the Senate, Dar said once again that the IMF wants commitments made by friendly countries to materialize.
He reiterated that the country would honor its financial commitments. “There is no chance of default; Pakistan will take care of its responsibilities and complete all payments on time.
There shouldn’t be any politics involved in the economy, he continued, “IMF or no IMF, we need to jointly run the country.”
Pakistan needs the IMF funding to open up other foreign financing options, so the two parties have been negotiating since early February to reopen $1.1 billion in funding that has been on hold since November as part of the bailout deal reached in 2019.