ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities increased to a record $99.1 billion by the end of December 2018.

The country’s external debt and liabilities surged by $3.77 billion to $99.1 in first six months (July to December) of the ongoing fiscal year, according to the SBP’s latest data. The country’s external debt and liabilities were at $95.34 billion at the end of previous year.

Pakistan’s external debt is rapidly increasing as successive governments heavily depended on securing foreign debts instead of increasing exports. The foreign exchange reserves stand at $8.21 billion, enough to cover only one and half months imports.

The country’s interest payment is also increasing due to the massive borrowing. A sum of $2.9 billion was spent on servicing outstanding stock of external debt during first six months of this fiscal. The country paid $2.1b in principal loans and $826m in interest on outstanding loans in July to Dec.

The breakup of $99.11 billion public debt and liabilities showed that external public debt stood at $78.46 billion in December 2018 compared to $75.36 billion at the end of June 2018. The public external debt posted an increase of 4.11 percent or $3.1 billion in the first half of this fiscal year. Similarly, among the public debt, long-term debt portfolio increased from $62.53 billion to $65.54 billion. The IMF debt had reduced to $5.901 billion in December 2018 from $6.095 billion of June 2018.

Record

$99.1b

external debt &

liabilities cause concern