Pakistan's foreign debt and foreign
exchange liabilities have slightly declined by $159 million in the first three
months of the current fiscal.
Total external foreign debt and
liabilities squeezed to $35.675 billion by September 30, 2005 as against $35.834
billion in 2004-05.
In its latest report on Pakistan's
External Debt and Liabilities, SBP has pointed out that total external debt of
the country declined to $33.918 billion by September 30, 2005, from $34.037
billion in June 2005, while foreign exchange liabilities amounted $1.757
According to the report the public and
publicly guaranteed debt stood at $30.982 billion by September this year as
against $31.084 billion on June 30, 2005.
The private non-guaranteed debt
amounted to $1.381 billion, debt owed to International Monetary Fund remained at
The medium and long-term Paris Club
debt had been calculated at $12.76 billion by September this year, $15.465
billion foreign debt belonged to multilateral donor agencies, $1.264 billion
Euro bonds/Saindak Bonds and rest foreign debt belonged to commercial loans,
$137 million military debt, etc.
It was learnt that since financial year
2002-03, the foreign debt and liabilities are hovering little over $35 billion.
In 2002-03, the foreign debt and liabilities stood at $35.474 billion, which
dropped to $35.258 billion in 2003-04, but slightly increased to $35.834 in
Details obtained by this scribe showed
that in the last four financial years, Pakistan has paid $18.91 billion worth
external loans, which include the payment of $3.90 billion mark-up on foreign
In FY02 Pakistan paid $6.327 billion,
$4.349 billion foreign loans were paid in FY03; $5.274 billion in FY04 while
$2.965 billion foreign loans were paid in FY05.
Foreign debt repayment in last fiscal
year has dropped by $2.309 billion as against the preceding fiscal 2003-04.
In 2004-05, the country has paid $3.965
billion worth total foreign debt, including mark-up, while in 2003-04 the
external debt repayment amounted to $5.274 billion.
An official of Finance Ministry said
that in 2003-04, the federal government prepaid $1.60 billion expensive debt to
the Asian Development Bank and some other donor agencies, excluding the World
Bank, as a result the overall quantum of foreign debt repayment remained well
over five billion dollars in 2003-04.
He said that in 2004-05, the federal
government intended to further retire the expensive debt, but unprecedented
increase in the world oil prices, imports and trade imbalance caused
extraordinary burden on the foreign exchange reserves of the country.
BIDDING DATE FOR PSO PRIVATIZATION SOON
The bidding date of Pakistan State Oil
(PSO) would be decided by mid-December this year.
"The Privatisation Commission is
holding a pre-bid conference in next three weeks with the PSO bidders and during
this meeting the PSO bidding date would be decided," Federal Minister for
Privatisation and Investment Dr Hafeez Sheikh told newsmen after attending the
launching ceremony of the book titled "Nestle in Pakistan 1988-2004".
Managing Director Nestle Pakistan
Roland Decorvet, Senator Sartaj Aziz, Syed Babar Ali, a renowned industrialist
and Suleman Ghani, Chairman Punjab Planning and Development Board also spoke at
the book launching ceremony to highlight the role of Nestle in Pakistan and
potential of milk sector's growth.
He also disclosed that five mega units
like Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pak-American
Fertilisers Limited, Pakistan Steel Mills and National Investment Trust are at
an advanced stage of privatization.
The Minister, however, did not respond
to the newsmen's questions pertaining to ongoing talks on PTCL post-privatisation
"I can only say that the issue
will be resolved amicably," said the minister.
He did not disclose about his upcoming
visit to Dubai to further discuss the PTCL issues with the high-ups of the
The Minister further said that the
investment climate has improved very much in Pakistan in the last few years. He
said that in 2004-05 the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment has reached 1.52
billion dollars as against less than half a billion dollars three years back.
He also said that the Initial Public
Offerings of state-run companies have attracted overwhelming response from
investors and general public, showing great participation of the common man in
the privatization process of the country.
Talking about Nestle Pakistan, he said
that the company was one of the several corporate sector success stories in the
He said that very few people abroad
know that more than 600 multinational companies are doing business in Pakistan.
"We should tell the foreigners and
countrymen about the success stories such as Nestle Pakistan to improve the
image of corporate sector in Pakistan," he added.
He proudly said that Nestle is
operating in 154 countries in the world, but its growth in Pakistan is the
highest and fastest than other countries.
"I tell the people that Pakistan
is a good place for investment, doing business and earning money," he
He said that the privatization process
in the country has moved forward at a very rapid pace in last few years. The
annual amount of privatization has reached near 300 billion rupees this year
while a few years back, the annual quantum of privatization income was around
just six billion rupees.
This trend shows that the privatization
programme of the country was expanding very fast, supporting the overall
economic stability, involvement of private sector in public entities and
creation of new job opportunities.
He also pointed out that the
Privatisation Commission has sold in the recent months Karachi Electric Supply
Company, National Refinery Limited, Mustehkam Cement, Pak-Arab Fertilisers and
has lined up more mega units to carry on the privatization process.
The Privatisation and Investment
Minister, however, did not disclose as to how much public units would be
privatized by December this year.
"I cannot give any deadline of
sell-off of the public units, because you people (journalists) first write about
the deadline and again write about missing of target or deadline," he said.