The finance ministry has informed the Senate that Pakistan is due to pay $37 billion for servicing foreign loans in the next five years.
“Out of $88.19 billion in total loans, the country will retire $9.2 billion by the end of this year,” said the Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Hammad Azhar while answering questions during the Question Hour.
The minister said the government had paid back $3,256 million under foreign debt and $1,295.21 million interest on loans during the current fiscal year by January.
“The previous [PML-N] government, during its tenure, had obtained loans on a very short term due to which Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government has an overburden of debt servicing,” Azhar said.
He said the incumbent government was resolute to get rid of the country’s foreign debt obligations and was pursuing a multi-pronged strategy in this regard.
The minister said their focus was to increase the country’s exports and reduce imports gradually.
Azhar said that special attention is being given to workers’ remittance and that he’s hopeful that this year, the country would receive $22 billion in remittances from overseas Pakistani.
“Our exports are also expected to touch the $25 billion mark this year,” he said, adding that the PTI government was making efforts to increase domestic revenues and reduce expenditures to curtail the budget deficit and current account deficit.
To a question, Azhar said that the federal government released Rs. 2 billion for Ramadan Bazaars to provide relief to the masses.