ISLAMABAD, May 11 (DNA): Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck_ Ambassador of Germany accompanied by French Ambassador Dr. Marc Barety and Economic Counselor _Mrs. Anais Boitiere, called on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here at the Finance Division.
The Advisor welcomed the Ambassadors and shared with them the overall picture of the country’s economy amid the Corona Virus pandemic and its future impact on the overall progress of the economy. He shared that before the pandemic Pakistan was successfully able to control its current account deficit and was expecting a growth of 3% during the ongoing financial year after observing strict financial discipline. However, after the outbreak the growth projections have become difficult to realize. He shared that due to the ongoing circumstances it is expected that the growth might remain between -1% to -1.5%. He then, told the ambassadors about the details of the relief package offered to the vulnerable by the Prime Minister through Ehsaas Program and the steps which the government is taking to support the SME sector.
The Ambassadors then discussed with the Adviser the details of the debt rescheduling offered by G-20 countries and the need for any further loans. The Adviser said that Pakistan’s firm stance in favor of debt rescheduling drive at the G-20 forum was based on the belief that the poorer countries genuinely require this assistance though Pakistan Specifically had benefitted lesser from the said relief. He also shared that $1.8 bn due in debt servicing to G-20 countries till December 2020 are under process of rescheduling. Pakistan is not going for any commercial loan rescheduling until now, said the Adviser. The Finance Division shall adhere to the requirements of Debt Limitation Act before planning to take up additional burden as most of the loans will be for the purpose of clearing old debt stocks, shared the Adviser.
The Adviser appreciated the support offered by the friendly countries and said that he hopes that the cooperation will continue in future for the benefit of the people of the three countries.