ISLAMABAD - The PTI led coalition government has yet to announce its strategy to build the country’s foreign exchange reserves that have fallen to $8.4 billion (held by SBP), which are enough to cover only one and a half months’ import bill.

The PTI government had assumed the charge in mid of August 2018. However, its economic team has not given any roadmap to deal with tumbling foreign exchange reserves. “During the week ending 28th September, SBP’s reserves decreased by $627 million to $8,409 million, due to payments on account of external debt servicing,” the State Bank of Pakistan reported on Thursday. Meanwhile, total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $14.9 billion, which included $6.5 billion of commercial banks.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves would remain under in next two months (October and November) due to repayment of previous loans and interest payments. Pakistan would have to repay $394 million as principal amount and $178 million as markup of loans during ongoing month (October). Similarly, in November 2018, the government will have to repay $572 million as principal and $146 million as interest payment on loans.

“The government should take urgent decision to deal with external sector of the economy,” said an economist. He further said that reserves would further decline to $6 billion by the end of November due to heavy repayment of laons and interest payment. The government will have to take important decision either for knocking at the door of the IMF for seeking another bailout package or to get help from Saudi Arabia and China, he added.

Currently, the dollars inflow in the country is very slow. Pakistan had taken foreign loans of over $820 million in the first two months (July-August) of the current financial year 2018-19. The previous government had estimated foreign assistance of $9.69 billion for 2018-19 including $394.34 million grants and $9.297 billion loans, as shown in the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) data.