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Forex reserves maintain a healthy level, no increase in debt liability: Finance Ministry

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP): Finance Ministry spokesman said Friday that country’s foreign exchange reserves continue to maintain a healthy level while there was no increase in external debt liability of the country in
absolute terms.
Responding to a report: “Government takes $450m loan to prop up sliding forex reserves”, carried by a section of the press, spokesman of the Ministry of Finance clarified that commercial financing was
a normal activity and part of an overall financing plan for the current fiscal year.
Commercial financing has been planned in terms of budgetary outlay for 2017-18 to bridge
resource gap and supplement external buffers, the spokesman added.
The spokesman further said that in absolute terms there has been no increase in external debt liability of the country.
In 2013, external debt to GDP ratio was 21.4%. In 2017, this ratio has decreased
to 20.6% showing a net decline of 80 basis points in the external indebtedness of the country.
Indeed external debt of the country was at a sustainable level and much lower than
many comparable economies like India, Sri Lanka, Egypt etc.
Similarly, external debt servicing liability for this fiscal is $5.8 billion as against
last year’ s liability of $6.44 billion showing a decrease of 10% over the
previous year.
The spokesman went on to say that Pakistan’s FX reserves continue to maintain a
healthy level, adding that this increase in reserves was driven by strong
improvements achieved in the first quarter of current fiscal year on account of
exports, remittances, FDI, official inflows and other private inflows.
Exports have increased by 17.7%, remittances by 13.2%, during July-August 2017 as against
corresponding period last year.
FDI during July-August 2017 stood at $458 million as compared to $180 million showing an
increase of 154.9% compared to corresponding period of last year.
With these positive trends strengthening in coming months, the foreign exchange reserves
of the country will continue to be at a healthy level.

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