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Around $37b loan will be retired during next five years: Hammad Azhar

Around $37b loan will be retired during next five years: Hammad Azhar

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Hammad Azhar on Thursday informed the Senate that the amount if foreign loans against Pakistan stood at $88,199 million adding that $ 9.2 billion would be retired this year.

Replying to various questions during question jour, the minister said that a sum of $37 billion foreign loan would be retired during the next five years.

Giving details, the minister said some $3,256.33 million under foreign debt and $1295.21 million interest on loans had been paid back during the current fiscal year till January 31, 2019.

He said the past government during its five years tenure had obtained loan on very short term.

Hammad Azhar said the present government was committed to fully discharge the debt obligations of the country to its external creditors and a multi-pronged strategy was being pursued.

The focus was to substantially increase country’s exports and workers remittances and reduce imports, he added.

He expressed the hope that this year, the country would receive $ 22 billion remittances from the overseas Pakistani. The country’s export was also expected to reach at $ 25 billion during the said period, he added.

He said the government was also focusing on enhancing domestic revenues, reducing expenditure to bring down budget deficit as well as current account deficit.

To another question, the minister said the process to seek membership of Egmont Group was initiated on September 21, 2011 after the approval of Federal Cabinet.

At present, Onsite Assessment Report (OAR) from FinCEN (FIU of USA) and JAFIC (FIU of Japan) was still a waited which described findings of Onsite visit to Pakistan (January 29, 2018 to February 02, 2018), he said.

He said the government was vigorously following-up to expedite the process of Egmont Group membership. After getting membership of Egmont Group, we would also get data, he added.