ISLAMABAD - The Special Committee on Foreign and Domestic Loans on Tuesday asked the government to present a loan agreement to the parliament before its approval from the federal cabinet, whenever it intended to take any loan from foreign or local institutions. The Special Committee on Foreign and Domestic Loans met with its chairperson Shehnaz Wazir Ali in the chair at the Parliament House. The committee member, Ahsan Iqbal, opined the government should take the Parliament on board before seeking foreign loans over $ 500 million from international financial institutions. Similarly, he said, a provincial government should take its assembly on board and mention the purpose for which it needed the loan.Minister of State for Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs Saleem H Mandewala told the committee that the government obtained approval from the cabinet before getting foreign loans from international institutions. Ahsan said the government should also take the Parliament on board before getting loans. He also opined the government should present its quarterly report on its guarantees against foreign loans to the Parliament. He also proposed a third-party audit before getting foreign loans. Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Javed Iqbal told the committee that foreign countries did not provide loans to the provinces direct and the federal government had to provide guarantees by getting 0.5 per cent as fee from the provinces. Meanwhile, Director General Debt Masroor Qureshi told the committee that the country’s budget deficit on average was recorded at 6.12 per cent of the GDP in the last four years, mainly due to higher oil prices, heavy floods in the country and expenditures on the law and order. Ahsan pointed out that the budget deficit increased due to excessive recruitments made in public sector entities on political basis, which enhanced their financial burden.Shehnaz Wazir Ali, in her remarks, said the losses in the public sector entities were resulting in higher budget deficit. She said the committee would take viewpoint of five economists on foreign loans. She asked the Planning Commission deputy chairman to give its viewpoint on foreign loans at the next meeting. She said the committee would complete its task at next two to three meetings and submit its report to the National Assembly.