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Pakistan external debt likely to reach US$ 110 bn within four years

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ISLAMABAD: The external debt of Pakistan is projected to grow to $110 billion within four years and it will need over $22 billion a year just to meet external payment requirements, economists said.

It will pose a serious threat to the country’s solvency forcing Pakistan to go back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid default on international payments as it did in 2013, independent projections by two renowned economists revealed at the recently held National Debt Conference.

Former director general debt Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan in his external debt assessment said that the $110-billion external debt level by 2019-20 will be $24 billion higher than the projections made by the IMF in its latest report on Pakistan.

Khan shared his assessment at the debt conference, arranged by the Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME) – an independent think tank.

He updated his previous external debt forecast for fiscal year 2018-19 from $90 billion to $98 billion after the government borrowed heavily in the past one year.

The external debt presently stands at $73 billion, which has been projected to swell by 50% to $110 billion in just four years.

According to the economist no major change expected in Pakistan’s export situation and anticipated that by 2019-20, the exports would stand roughly at $25 billion, a level that the country crossed in the last year of previous government.

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