Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has paid off an amount of $7.52 billion including $6.31 billion as principal and $1.21 billion as interest payments during the first 10 months of the current fiscal years, showing remarkable performance despite the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan stated in a statement issued on Thursday.
When the PTI government came to power, he said, Pakistan was facing difficult challenges such as high current account deficit and they made it possible to bring down drastically by its to sound fiscal policies.
“Now, indicators point towards improvement in the national economy despite the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country,” he said.
The minister said all high-frequency data showed improvement in the economy and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was estimated at 3.94% as a result of successful policy interventions.
He further added that this economic performance was remarkable amid the pandemic and being appreciated by the international development community.
Ayub said the ruling PTI inherited an elevated level of debt servicing of around $10 billion per year mainly caused by the enhanced external borrowing ($49.76 billion), especially short-term and expensive commercial loans ($17 billion) by the PML-N government.
During the current fiscal year, the government has to repay about $10.36 billion on account of external loans including principal and interest payments while expected inflows are estimated at $14.37 billion.
“During the first 10-months of FY 2020-21, the government has repaid an amount of $7.52 billion including $6.31 billion as principal and $1.21 billion as interest payments.”
In order to discharge its various obligations, he said, the government borrowed $10.5 billion as programme and project loans in the same period. “Thus, the net inflow of external loans is $2.98 billion.”