ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said that Pakistan would receive over $2.6 billion from different sources like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and United States under coalition support fund (CSF) by next month (May).
Ishaq Dar said, “The World Bank will also give approval for $11 billion for the next five years for Pakistan under Country Partnership Strategy- from 2015 to 2019 on May 1 2014”. However prior to it, “The World Bank will approve $1 billion for Pakistan on May 1 2014 for two projects of energy and revenue development programme”, said Ishaq Dar while addressing a press conference here to inform on economic situation and his tour to Washington and New York. He further said that World Bank would further approve $700 million for Dasu hydro power project and Sindh irrigation project in its meeting to be held in the end of May 2014.
Similarly, the Finance Minister informed that Asian Development Bank (ADB) would give approval for $400 million for Pakistan in its meeting on April 26. Meanwhile, the Islamic Development Bank would disburse $133 million in next few days. “United States is likely to reimburse $380 million out of pending $1.5 billion by the end of current month of April”, said the Finance Minister. On reserves, Ishaq Dar said that it would enhance to $15-16 billion by the end of September 2014, as earlier it was estimated to generate same amount of reserves by end December 2014.
Talking about the Eurobonds, the Finance Minister said that State Bank of Pakistan has received $2 billion on Wednesday (today) morning that helped in building the country’s exchange reserves to $11.67 billion. “The rate of interest on Eurobonds were neither higher nor it increased the public debt of the country, rather it will reduce the central bank loan”. The auction of bonds would provide financial benefit of $90 million annually, as country received loan at lesser interest (around 7.75 percent) in bonds as compared to the interest paid (12.25 percent on domestic banking borrowing. Pakistan received massive response from the investors on Eurobonds, as people were expecting to generate maximum $1 billion from it, which ended at $2 billion due to economic policies of the government. He informed that bonds have fetched the highest amount that Pakistan ever raised in a single attempt from international investors.
He said that International Monetary Fund (IMF) would review the economic situation of third quarter (January-March) of ongoing fiscal year from April 30 to May 8.
Talking about the economic situation of the country, Senator Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan’s GDP growth has recorded at 4.1 percent during first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year 2013-14, which was 3.4 percent during same period last year. He informed that agriculture sector has recorded growth of two percent in July-December of FY2014 against 1.4 percent of last year. Industrial sector witnessed growth of 5.4 percent against 2.5 percent of last year and services sector 4.4 percent during period under review as compare to 4.5 percent of previous year.
Similarly, the Finance Minister said that revenue collection has shown growth of 16.4 percent during nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year, as FBR collected Rs 1574 billion during period under review against Rs 1352 billion of the corresponding period of last year. The budget deficit has recorded at 815 billion (3.1 percent of the GDP) during July-March FY 2014 as against Rs 1046 billion (4.1 percent of the GDP) of previous year. Remittances have recorded growth of 11.9 percent to $11.58 billion, exports registered at $19.11 billion, showing an increase of 6.1 percent. Inflation rate has recorded at 8.5 percent during July-March FY 2014 as compared to eight percent of the last year. Large Scale Manufacturing sector has witnessed growth of 6.05 percent during seven months (July-January) of FY2014.
To a question on auction of telecom licences, Ishaq Dar said that government had budgeted $1.3 billion for the auction of 3G and 4G licences, which would be generated at the end of auction process. “The Auction Advisory Committee has now nothing to do with auction of telecom licences, as Pakistan Telecommunication Authority will conduct the process”, he added. “We are not bringing 3G and 4G to generate revenues but to improve technology and to create employment opportunities in the country”, maintained the minister.
Pakistan has asked the US-EXIM bank to provide loans for 20 years without government sovereignty, as it does with other neighbouring countries of Pakistan, as Islamabad receive loans for seven years with government sovereignty, he added.