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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Pakistan sees $3.8bn inflows in 4MFY24 amid forex crunch

By Mehtab Haider
November 21, 2023
A money exchange employee counts dollars. — AFP/File
A money exchange employee counts dollars. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Amid dwindling official foreign exchange reserves despite signing a $3 billion IMF programme, Islamabad has secured $3.8 billion from multilateral and bilateral creditors in the first four months (July-Oct) period of the current fiscal year.

The official figures of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) did not incorporate the $1.2 billion disbursed by the IMF after approval of the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) program. So, the total dollar inflows in the shape of loans totalled $5 billion.

Now the IMF also seems inclined to downward revise the projection on account of gross foreign exchange reserves as it might witness a reduction from $12.9 billion to around $11.6 to $11.9 billion by the end of the ongoing financial year. The government has projected total foreign loans of $17.619 billion for the current fiscal year. In the official projection, the government had included $2.4 billion from the IMF for the current fiscal year. Although, Pakistan had signed $3 billion SBA programme out of which $1.2 billion was so far disbursed by the Fund in August 2023. Now another IMF tranche of $700 million was expected to be disbursed after securing approval of the Fund’s executive board. In this scenario, all projections on account of Gross Official Reserves, Net International Reserves (NIR), Current Account Deficit and dollar inflows in the shape of foreign loans were changed for the current fiscal year.

According to the disbursement of foreign loans received by Pakistan showed that Pakistan received $318.1 million during October 2023. Islamabad had secured $3.52 billion in the first three months (July-September) period of the current fiscal year. Pakistan had obtained a guaranteed loan of $508.34 million. The disbursement of loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) stood at $87.5 million in the first four months of the current fiscal year. From AIIB, the total disbursed loan amount stood at $27.86 million. The European Union (EU) and EIU have not disbursed any loan amount so far in the current fiscal year. The World Bank’s IDA loan disbursement stood at $303.43 million and the IBRD loan of $67.28 million. The IFAD has disbursed $11.43 million, IsDB $100 million and OPEC Fund $0.01 million in the first four months of the current fiscal year.

The multilateral creditors in totality disbursed $597.49 million during the first four months of the current fiscal year. All bilateral creditors disbursed $435 million in the first four months out of which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia disbursed $400 million for the oil facility during the July-Oct period of the current fiscal year.

The government also received $2 billion in the shape of time deposits from KSA in the current fiscal year. The government has not generated any international bonds so far in the current fiscal year. Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar had already announced the shelving of the plan to raise $1.5 billion in international bonds. Pakistan received $306.26 million in the shape of Naya Pakistan Certificates in the first four months. The foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP had declined from $8.1 billion on July 23, 2023 to $7.3 billion on November 10, 2023 mainly because of repayments on external debt fronts during this period.