ISLAMABAD - Following its policy to rely on foreign loans, the incumbent government took over $5 billion loans from the multilateral and bilateral donors during first six months of the current financial year.

Pakistan received $4.15 billion from the multilateral and bilateral donors and around $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during July-December period of year 2015-2016. The PML-N government is heavily relying on foreign loans since coming into power in June 2013. The government had received $18 billion foreign loans by September 30, 2015, which included $3.5b bonds and $4.77b from the IMF.

Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves had touched the historic level of $21 billion a couple of weeks back mainly due to the foreign loans. Asad Umar, economic wizard of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has said PML-N government so far contracted $28.6 billion of fresh loans while the external debt is projected to grow to $104.6 billion by 2020. The government has added over Rs 4.7 trillion in public debt in just 28 months in power and consequently, he remarked.

The government had projected to receive $9.18 billion loans to be received from multilateral and bilateral donors excluding IMF's tranches during ongoing financial year (from June 2015 to July 2016). However, it received 45 percent of the loans during July-December, according to the documents of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD).

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) disbursed $607.4 million, or 59.5 percent of the annual estimated foreign economic assistance of $1.02 billion, during first six months of the FY2016. Another larger component of the assistance was the auction of Eurobond of $500 million. The government has still space to auction another bond of same value before the end of June 2016, as it estimated to generate one billion dollars from the auction of bond during present financial year.

China had given assistance worth $561.4 million to Pakistan against the yearly estimates of $3.04 billion. Pakistan had taken massive loans of $956 million from the consortium of the commercial banks during July-December as the government initially planned to get $200 million from these banks during entire current financial year.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provided $36.19 million as loan. The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank released $594.89 million, which is 34.4 percent of the annual loan $1.73 billion to be released during July2015 to June 2016. The Islamic Development Bank disbursed $39.29 million to the government of Pakistan during first six months of the present financial year.

Pakistan received $21.67 million from Germany, $26.52 million from Japan, $36.7 million from Kuwait, $247.2 million from United Kingdom, $80.86 million from United States during July-December of the year 2015-16.

The loan amount could further enhance had the number of countries and institutions released the loans as like other multilateral and bilateral donors during July-December of the current financial year. Countries and institutions like Australia, the EU, Italy, South Korea, Norway, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Saudi Arabia and UNDP did not release a single penny for Pakistan during July-December of the current financial year.