Pakistan to get Rs 335 billion debt relief from G20 to mitigate negative effects of pandemic

ISLAMABAD [PAKISTAN]: Pakistan will sign its debt relief agreement with G20 countries separately before the deadline of December 31, 2020, to receive debt relief of just over $2 billion ($335 billion). rupees) to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to media reports.

A senior finance division official told The News on Sunday that work was underway to benefit from the debt relief announced by G20 countries.

“So far, we have reconciled more than a dozen creditors out of a total of 20, so we are working to accomplish the reconciliation of accurate debt data as soon as possible, after which Islamabad will have to sign an agreement with each bilateral creditor separately,” the senior official said. said.

Other sources indicated that the deadline for accomplishing the debt relief was envisaged as December 31, 2020, but the government was making every effort to accomplish this task in the first quarter until September 30.

This debt relief of more than $2 billion, according to the official, has provided much-needed respite, because if it had not happened, pressure on the exchange rate could have mounted in recent months due to the payments due on the external front.

Among the G20 countries, China was the largest bilateral creditor, its debts to Pakistan amounting to $9 billion, followed by Japan with $5 billion and the other countries including South Korea, France , Germany, Canada, United States and Saudi Arabia. and others.

The Pakistani authorities sought the assistance of the World Bank to develop a standard format for requesting debt relief from bilateral creditors, but due to different standard requirements, it could not be developed. Now, the Economic Affairs Division has developed its own format in consultation with stakeholders and the Ministry of Justice to move forward on this topic.

“We will soon start signing a separate agreement with bilateral creditors to benefit from this debt relief facility to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the official said.

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