The Spokesman of the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs here on Tuesday rebutted the news report: “Pakistan turns down cheaper loan offer from Japan” appeared in a section of press on February 18.
The Spokesman said the impression that Pakistan refused Japanese offer of financial assistance is totally misleading.
By presenting these numbers, the article negate itself as it is evident that debt servicing numbers during first five months of current fiscal year are in accordance with the budget estimates and are expected to remain within the annual budget estimates.
The spokesman said the EAC has been reconstituted on the basis of a regular summary submitted to the Prime Minister with due recommendation from Adviser Finance, Dr. The first session of the reconstituted Council will be held soon, the spokesman added.The article has referred five months 2017 data and drawing conclusions which is too early.Moreover, the article is contradictory in its statement that the development spending is increasing on political motivated developments schemes which is amounted to roughly Rs 180 billion, while on the other hand it has been narrated that development spending is significantly lower which should have been close to Rs 300 billion.The spokesman, giving the factual position said that Federal Cabinet in its decision of February 7, 2017 had delegated Federal Govt’s Power of Appointment to the Finance Minister with the concurrence of the Prime Minister whereby Finance Minister and Prime Minister can appoint CEOs of corporations, statutory bodies, autonomous and semi autonomous bodies attached with the Finance Division.In view thereof, CCP, Chairperson and members have been appointed / reappointed in line with the decision of the Federal Cabinet.With regards to rising debt servicing which is the key reason for the increasing budget deficit.It is pertinent to mention that the article acknowledges the fact that the annual budget estimates for fiscal year 2017-18 are Rs.1,363 billion while debt servicing during July - November provisionally stood at Rs.625 billion.The month wise data is adjusted for compilation of quarterly fiscal operation data and then it is made for public and also placed on the Ministry of Finance website for dissemination.As first quarter fiscal operation data of the current year is available.Recently there have been reports in media regarding high gross external financing requirements of Pakistan and the risks they pose to sustainability of the external account going forward.Pakistan's gross external financing requirements in FY 2018 have been misreported with different media reports putting the figure differently ranging between US$ 31 billion, to US$ 26 billion, to US$ 17 billion, to US$ 12 billion.