ISLAMABAD - The pace of borrowing foreign loans remained much slower during first month of the ongoing financial year, as the country took only $195.04 million from bilateral and multilateral sources during July 2016.

Earlier, the government had planned to sign contracts for $8 billion foreign loans during the year 2016-17. However, so far it has received only 2.44 percent of the annual estimated amount.

However an official in the Economic Affair Division (EAD) told this scribe, "The pace of borrowing foreign loans remains slow during first few months of a fiscal year, which later accelerates."

Pakistan had received $40.29 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in July 2016. The government has estimated to receive $1.05 billion from the bank during the current fiscal year, according to the documents of EAD.

Meanwhile, China has already disbursed $32.88 million to Pakistan, and the country will provide $572.3 million in the complete year.  The documents further reveal that the government borrowed $97.84 million as IDB (S-term).

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) released $9.29 million to the government in the first month of the present financial year, United States $7.27 million and Japan $1.46 million.

The countries and institutions like UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Norway, Korea, France, Italy, OPEC, UNDP and commercial banks did not release a single penny for Pakistan during July this year.

It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan would issue Euro and Sukuk bonds worth $1.75 billion in the international financial markets during the ongoing financial year, 2016-2017.

Similarly, the government would borrow loans of $2 billion from the commercial banks during this year.

The government has heavily depended on foreign commercial banks for the loans as it has taken $1.4 billion as against the budgeted amount of only $200 million.

The loans were borrowed at a massive interest rate of up to 5.25 percent in order to increase the foreign exchange reserves.