ISLAMABAD

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves would once again come under pressure in the next couple of years, as the country would pay $6.8 billion to the international financial institutions in 2016 and 2017.

The PML-N government had taken the reserves to a historic level by borrowing massive loans from the foreign institutions since June 2013, when it came to power.

The reserves held by the central bank build up to $15.66 billion during two years and nine months tenure of the incumbent government.

Meanwhile, the commercial banks’ reserves are $4.86 billion, taking the country’s overall reserves to $20.52 billion.

However, the reserves might start depleting due to paying back loans to the foreign lenders. Pakistan would pay back around $4 billion in 2016 and $2.8 billion in 2017.

According to the Debt Policy Statement (DPS) of the Ministry of Finance, the maturity of 10-year Eurobonds, issued in 2005-06 (worth $500 million), and then in 2006-07 (worth $750 million), is due in 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively.

Similarly, the repayment of on-going Extended Fund Facility (EFF), worth $6.64 billion, with IMF will begin in 2017-18.

The repayment of rescheduled Paris Club debt under, Official Development Assistance (ODA), will start from 2016-17.

However, the government has not yet decided to approach the IMF for taking another programme. Sources in the Ministry of Finance informed this scribe that it was premature to say whether the government would approach IMF for the next programme or not, as already Pakistan is under EFF of $6.64 billion.

Pakistan had so far received $5 billion from the IMF, under a 36-month programme, supported by an EFF arrangement of $6.64 billion, approved in 2013. Meanwhile, Pakistan is looking for another tranche of around $500 million that could be disbursed within this month, as the Fund has shown satisfaction over the economic situation of Pakistan during the 10th economic review held in Dubai from January 26 to February 4.