ISLAMABAD - The government’s policy of borrowing is continuing, as it added another $491.8 million in the country’s growing debt during April 2017.

With the inflow of $491.8 million in last month, Pakistan’s external borrowing has surged to $5.8 billion during ten months (July-April) of the ongoing financial year. The government had revised its estimates for external borrowing to around $10 billion from its earlier plan of taking more than $8 billion loan during current fiscal year 2016-17.

The Pakistani economy has been rapidly borrowing and since year 2013, it ballooned by 46 percent (or Rs6.55 trillion) to Rs20.872 trillion at present. Gross public debt was standing at Rs20,872 billion as at end of March 2017 while net public debt was Rs18,893 billion. Gross public debt recorded an increase of Rs1,194 billion during first nine months of current fiscal year. Out of this total increase, increase in domestic debt was Rs1,121 billion while the government borrowing from domestic sources for financing of fiscal deficit was Rs1,018 billion.

Similarly, Pakistan’s External Debt and Liabilities (EDL) include all foreign currency debt was recorded at $75.7 billion as at end of March 2017 out of which external public debt was $58.4 billion. External public debt recorded an increase of $0.7 billion during first nine months of current fiscal year.

According to the latest documents of Economic Affairs Division (EAD), the government borrowed $5.79 billion during ten months of the year 2016-18. Major components of the borrowing were $1.315 billion loan from foreign commercial banks and issuance of $1 billion Sukuk bonds last year. Pakistan had borrowed $1.08 billion from China during July-April 2016-17. Major component of Chinese loan, $1.03 billion, was spent on balance of payment support. However, the project loans from China during the first ten months were only $565 million.

The government had projected to receive $1.03 billion from China during entire current financial year. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank had disbursed $914.3 million to Islamabad, which is 87.2 percent of the annual estimates. The loans from the World Bank stood at only $339 million or 33.8 percent of the annual estimates of $1.5 billion. The Islamic Development Bank gave $496.8 million to Pakistan.

The government has also borrowed $21 million from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the current financial year which was not budgeted as per the EAD data. The data shows that the government borrowed $5 million from the Eco Trade Bank which was also not budgeted.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) disbursed $188.7 million including $11.25 million in the month of April against the budgeted estimates of $62.48 million for the current fiscal year, UNHCR disbursed $0.77 million, Japan disbursed $44.56 million against the budgeted $77.13 million for the current fiscal year and UK released $149.74 million including $9.76 million in April. EU disbursed $17.84 million in the current financial year against the budgeted estimates of $51.12 million.

The country received no assistance from France, Korea, Norway, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UNDP and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) during the period under review.