$1.7bn debt rescheduling deal signed

Published December 22, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Noor Ahmed, Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Yves Manville, Deputy Head of Mission of the French embassy, exchange copies of the agreement on Monday. — AFP
ISLAMABAD: Noor Ahmed, Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Yves Manville, Deputy Head of Mission of the French embassy, exchange copies of the agreement on Monday. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has secured $1.7 billion debt relief agreements to help offset the financial headwinds sparked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Monday.

The deal, following months of negotiations with creditors, will provide a moratorium on debt payments for large swathes of the current fiscal year and help ease the cash-strapped country’s massive financial obligations.

“The Government of Pakistan has successfully negotiated and concluded rescheduling agreements with 19 bilateral creditors, including members of the Paris Club,” the ministry of economic affairs said in a statement.

It went on to describe the deal as “timely” that will help save the “lives and livelihoods of millions”.

Pakistan’s economy was already on life support before officials began shuttering large segments of economy in the spring as a range of lockdown measures were rolled out to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly called for debt forgiveness from international donors as tax revenues cratered, inflation soared, the currency was devalued, and fiscal deficits widened.

Earlier this year the G20 and the Paris Club agreed to waive most debt payments for the world’s poorest countries in 2020, as sweeping virus lockdowns upturned the global economy.

In June, Pakistan was named as one of a handful of countries to secure a moratorium on debt repayments from the Paris Club in an effort to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

To add to the country’s woes, Pakistan has also been facing growing questions about the massive amount of debt it has taken on in recent years through Chinese-financed infrastructure projects.

Beijing has been steadily pouring cash into Pakistan, investing more than $50 billion as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that has upgraded infrastructure, power and transport links across the country.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2020

Opinion

Wheat import and food security
22 Oct 2021

Wheat import and food security

Wheat is the only commodity which justifies government intervention as the poor strata cannot be left at the mercy of the market
Living with Covid
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Living with Covid

Mental health professionals have been warning that Covid has brought with it a depression crisis.
Cricket aggression
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Cricket aggression

Good thinking, good plans and good execution will create a quality institution that can produce great teams.
Markets and disinformation
Updated 21 Oct 2021

Markets and disinformation

Journalists should be allowed to work freely as Pakistan's weak investor sentiment can't bear burden of an avalanche of fake news.

Editorial

Spate of attacks
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Spate of attacks

Following a near-constant decline since 2016, the year 2021 has witnessed a precipitous rise in violence-related fatalities in KP.
22 Oct 2021

Libel suits

THE outcome of two libel cases recently decided by courts in England should be edifying for the government — if it...
22 Oct 2021

Education losses

A NEW report on the education losses suffered by Pakistani children due to pandemic-induced school closures sheds...
Not just cricket
Updated 21 Oct 2021

Not just cricket

Hype surrounding the match — sold out as soon as tickets sales opened — has overshadowed the other games, as well as other teams.
Local governance
21 Oct 2021

Local governance

The court ruling restoring local institutions in Punjab should go a long way in ensuring the continuation of grassroots democracy.
21 Oct 2021

Breast cancer awareness

LIKE so many other issues relating to women’s health in Pakistan, breast cancer is not a subject of serious...