Recent Articles

Debt Justice

Issues in the management of Pakistan Debt


(By Hafiz Pasha) Pakistan’s debt stands at Rs 18,241 billion as of end- June 2014. This includes Rs 16,321 billion of government (public) debt, equivalent to 89% of total debt. The rest, Rs 1,920 billion, is owed by public sector enterprises, banks and companies, mostly with external creditors. Public debt has mushroomed rapidly since 2006-07. It was Rs 4,896 billion in June 2006-07, and has risen annually by 19%. At this rate, it is effectively doubling every four years. Today, ... Read More »

Argentina: A victim of unfair debt deal


The Paris Club group of rich countries has announced, Thursday, it has reached an agreement for Argentina to begin repaying up to $9.7 billion, double the size of the original debt. Argentina had to stop making debt payments in late-2001 as a result of an economic crisis brought about by following IMF economic policy conditions. Argentina subsequently reached an agreement with most of its private lenders to pay 33 cents in every dollar owed. However, the Paris Club group of ... Read More »

$200bn of Pakistan in Swiss banks


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar staggered the National Assembly on Friday when he revealed that at least $200 billion of `Pakistani money` was stashed away in Swiss banks. In a written reply, Dar told the house that the government was engaging with Swiss authorities to get to the money, hidden away by various Pakistani nationals. In a detailed response to a question raised by Dr Arif Alvi of the Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf (PTI), the minister quoted statements by a Swiss banker and ... Read More »

Conditionally yours: The IMF bitter pills


( Loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) largely come with policy change conditions attached – conditions that the IMF has played a significant role in developing. Criticisms of the excessive burden and politically sensitive nature of these conditions led to significant reviews at the IMF and the introduction of some conditionality-free facilities, although these are limited in scope. The IMF claims to have limited its conditions to critical reforms agreed by recipient governments. However, the worrying findings of this ... Read More »

Unlocking the chains of Debt!


( : Pakistan’s economy has been paralysed by an unpayable and largely unjust debt burden that is preventing the country reaching its poverty goals and hindering the development of democracy, says a new report from Jubilee Debt Campaign and Islamic Relief. Unlocking the Chains of Debt criticises the IMF for the crippling conditions attached to its loans and calls for repayments to be frozen while the legitimacy of all debts is investigated. Unlocking the Chains of Debt shows that Pakistan’s government foreign debt ... Read More »

Argentina: Debt Default and Beyond!


(By Alan Cibils) Argentina’s recent experience can best be explained as a three-stage process. The first stage deals with Argentina’s neoliberal economic policies and the resulting unsustainable debt build-up. The second stage deals with the default and subsequent remarkable recovery. The final stage deals with the current economic problems, which began in 2007, and have been the subject of several recent scathing mainstream media articles. In what follows, each stage will be described concluding with some possible lessons. Stage 1—Neoliberal ... Read More »

$1.6b Chinese loan for metro train project in Lahore


LAHORE:  (Daily Dawn/4 March 2014) China has agreed to give $1.6 billion loan to Pakistan under Preferential Buyers` Credit (PBC) scheme for launching metro train project in Lahore. Dawn has learnt that the Chinese prime minister in a recent meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in China has committed to funding the project under the PBC scheme. The PBC is a Chinese GovernmentConcessional Loan that refers to the medium and long-term, low interest rate credit extended by the China Eximbank ... Read More »

Pakistan Debt Policy 2014


Recording the public debt-to-GDP ratio at 62.7 per cent by the end of fiscal year 2012-13, the `Debt Policy Statement 2013-14` released by the Ministry of Finance on Monday suggests the government to adopt an integrated approach for economic revival and debt reduction strategy. These measures will require some `difficult trade-offs` in the short-term, thus implementing the structural reforms that boost potential growth is a key to ensure debt sustainability, according to the statement.`Crossing of this threshold by 2.7pc was ... Read More »

$6.5 billion China loan for Pakistan N-plants


Pakistan has signed a $6.5 billion `concessionary loan` agreement with China for projects under civil nuclear cooperation, including development of two power plants near Karachi of 2,200MW, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said `This is a very big loan that China has extended. It is very cheap and will ensure uninterrupted power supply, he said at a briefing on the economic situation for members of his cabinet and the media. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made a detailed presentation. But the prime ... Read More »

Foreign Debt, Barrier to Development: press conference

Press Conference at IR office

Special Correspondent, London (Tuesday, 05 November, 2013) It is essential for progress and prosperity of the country that Pakistan must get rid of all loans which it has borrowed from IMF and other similar agencies. A large chunk of Pakistan’s resources is consumed for paying the debts. New loans are borrowed on harsher conditions to pay off the previous debts. This may lead to further deterioration of economic condition. These views were expressed by the office bearers of Islamic Relief ... Read More »