China’s help key to Pakistan avoiding default: Dar

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ISLAMABAD: Acknowledging China help in preventing default, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Sunday that Beijing knew in February that International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) was delaying its deal with Islamabad because some other reasons.

Dar, who is also the leader of the house in Senate, told a session, chaired by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. that the last 10 months of the government had been difficult but the situation was now stabilised.

“China had come to know in February that the IMF agreement with Pakistan was being delayed because of the reasons, other than technical ones,” Dar said. Because of that China actively supported us,” he added.

“The last 10 months were very difficult. The world wanted Pakistan to default. However, we have paid our loans on time and after making all the payments, the foreign exchange reserves have stabilised,” he added.

“China has played an important role in saving Pakistan from default,” the finance minister continued. “Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and China have given full support to Pakistan in the past.”

The minister told the upper house of parliament that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves had risen to $14 billion, while the government was trying to improve them further. “The reserves are expected to reach $16 billion,” he added.

Speaking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the minister said that the mega project had completed 10 years. On the occasion, he added, Chinese vice premier was visiting Pakistan along with a high-level delegation.

Speaking about the debt situation, the minister said that, a rating agency had said Pakistan would default in June. In June, payments of $2.3 billion were due. China helped us by rolling over its debt, he added.

The minister revealed that the World Bank would provide a loan of $450 million n September, while another $300 million would be received from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) soon.

About the payments to the provinces from the National Finance Commission (NFC), the minister said that federal government had made the payment of Rs8.78 billion to the Balochistan province.

Dar told the house that the Pakistan International Airlines suffered severe losses because of a statement of former minister but now the laws regarding the national-flag carrier had been amended as per international standards.

In the end, the minister stressed the need for getting rid of the loan culture. He also stressed the need for all parties to agree to a ‘Charter of Economy’. “We can take the country on the path to development through joint efforts,” he added.

At the outset of his speech, Ishaq Dar said that sanctity of the Holy Quran stayed above everything in the world. He added that the government had strongly condemned the Islamophobic acts in the West.

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