ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government which continued lambasting the former PPP regime for borrowing foreign loans in its era has planned to get $8.336 billion foreign loans during the current financial year 2013-2014.

Though the much-trumpeted mantra of putting burden on the masses by taking loans echoed even after the PPP era, the government now has reached the stage to exercise ‘the same hateful’ practice by taking huge loans.

The cash-starved government has planned to receive $ 8.336 billion foreign loans during the ongoing financial year 2013-2014 in order to improve the balance of payments, provide budgetary support and stabilise the exchange rate.

According to the official documents of the Finance Ministry available with The Nation, Pakistan would receive $8.336 billion from different sources in terms of debt during the current fiscal year 2013-2014. The total credit amount of $ 8.336 billion would provide balance of payment and budgetary support to the government.

The documents revealed that Pakistan would receive $ 2.779 billion from Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, OPEC and others during the present financial year. Similarly, the debt inflow worth $1.812 billion would come from the US, the UK, Canada and China. Pakistan would receive $2.21 billion from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and $500 million from Euro bond. Similarly, the country would receive additional $532 million from Islamic Development Bank and $500 million from commercial banks. Thus, the total debt inflow would stand at$ 8.336 billion during the current financial year.

It is worth mentioning that the PML-N government has been severely criticizing the former PPP government for taking record loans. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said many times that former PPP-led coalition government had borrowed Rs 8,136 billion from internal and external resources during its five-year tenure to finance its budget deficit. Pakistan public debt has reached over Rs 14,000 billion, which was Rs 6044 billion in June 30 2008.

The official documents stated that the IMF loan, under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), was being provided only for balance of payment support. It might be added that Pakistan is facing the challenge of huge payment liabilities of the past period to retire the previous loans from the IMF without having adequate foreign exchange reserves. The IMF loan would help the PML-N government retire the loan taken by the previous government. The IMF funding would strengthen the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan and stabilise the exchange rate.

The IMF programme envisages a series of reforms in various sectors. One of these reforms is FBR revenue generation. In addition, there are reforms which the PML-N government is going to carry out. The government is planning to rationalise the electricity tariff and reduce public expenditures besides withdrawing all sorts of subsidies.

It is making efforts to improve business climate. The government also intends to privatise public sector entities like Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and others. These measures would strengthen the financial stability leading to reduction in fiscal deficit. Loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other monetary agencies and foreign commercial banks would assist in stabilising the exchange rate of Pakistani rupee with other currencies.