The Federal Finance Ministry has done well to set the records straight and presented actual facts and figures regarding gross financing needs of the country, thus clarifying the wrong impressions created by a misleading and wrong report by the World Bank which had caused lot of confusion and controversy during the past few days in Pakistan. According to the reports in the media, the World Bank report duly highlighted they had put gross external financing needs of Pakistan for current financial year at 31 billion dollars i.e. 9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The report of the leading financial institution was regretfully based on misinterpretation of standard definition of the gross financing needs of the country.

As per international reporting standards, according to the clarification by the Finance Ministry, actually Pakistan’s gross financing need for financial year 2017-18 is about 18 billion dollars i.e. 5.3 per cent of GDP and not 31 billion dollars (9 per cent of GDP) as mentioned in the World Bank report. Improving external balance quite obviously hinges upon the revival of exports, slowdown in imports and stable remittances flows. This is precisely what has been achieved in the first quarter of the current financial year i.e. exports and remittances by Overseas Pakistanis have improved and imports have slowed down as a result of measures taken by the federal government, the figures given by the ministry emphatically point out.

It is also commendable that Pakistan has taken up this matter of wrong and misleading misinterpretations by the World Bank, which caused controversies, after which the leading financial institution at the appropriate level in Washington set the records straight. It is sincerely hoped that the World Bank high ups would rectify the situation at the earliest in this regard, please. In all fairness, such a report based on exaggerated figures is least expected from an international financial institution like the World Bank. Thanks.

Z. RIFAT,

Lahore, October 16.