ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s foreign debt and liabilities are continuing to increase as the government has succeeded in getting another massive loan of $5.9 billion from the Asian Development Bank.

The ADB on Tuesday announced to give $5.9 billion to Pakistan under the Country Operation Business Plan (COBP) in next three years, 2017-2019. The prominent sectors covered in the plan are energy, transport, disaster management, water and urban services, agriculture and infrastructure financing.
The plan will benefit federal government, provinces, AJK/FATA/GB.

The announcement came at a time when State of Pakistan (SBP) in its recent report noted that akistan’s total liabilities increased to Rs22.5 trillion by June 30 of this year from Rs19.85 trillion of the year 2014-15, showing 13.2 percent increase. Out of the total liabilities of Rs22.5 trillion, the external debt grew to Rs7.27 trillion. The country’s foreign debt and liabilities are continuously increasing since the PML-N government assumed the charge in 2013.The country’s foreign debt and liabilities were at $61.9 billion in July 2013, which surged to $63.4 billion 2014.Furthermore, the loan enhanced to $65.1 billion, recording an increase of $1.7 billion in one-year time. Meanwhile, it showed massive increase of $7.9 billion and reached Rs7.27 trillion in 2016.Meanwhile, the domestic debt also swelled to Rs13.62 trillion.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties have showed serious concerns over increasing loans of the country.
“We will ask the government to explain the reasons of taking massive loans from the international financial institutions in the parliamentary committee on finance,” said a lawmaker of the PPP while talking to The Nation.

ADB’s country Director Werner Leipach called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar yesterday to brief about development on Country Operation Business Plan (COBP), Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) creation of Disaster Management Fund (DMF) and preparation for upcoming meeting.

Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) is plan aimed enhancing at connectivity with Economic Transformation. The meeting of the stakeholders, representatives from CAREC countries, development partners is scheduled to be held in October 2016 in Islamabad. The purpose of the meeting is to showcase success, identify gaps/challenges and to incentivise private sector involvement and financing partnerships.Pakistan is planning to enhance facilities and provide technical assistance to member countries.

The finance minister was also briefed about National Disaster Risk Management Fund.The Fund will be operationalized through a broad based stakeholder General Body. The funding from ADB will be $1 illion with GOP share of $250 million. The funding will come through 4 tranches of $250 million each year from ADB. Australia, Belgium, Norway and Japan are also sighted as prospective donors.

The minister appreciated role of ADB as a development partner and expressed satisfaction over broader contours of the plans presented before him in the meeting.The meeting was attended by officials of the ADB and Ministry of Finance.

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