Reserves may deplete to $8b by June 2013

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Reserves may deplete to $8b by June 2013

ISLAMABAD - The countryís gross official reserves may deplete to $8.24 billion by June 2013 which is 28 per cent or $3.2 billion, lower than what has been projected for last financial year 2011-12, said an official.

The official said the current account deficit - gap between total foreign receipts and payments - is expected to widen to $5.3 billion or 2.1 per cent of total size of economy during on going fiscal.

The incumbent government has also decided that the necessary international and domestic payments would be mulled over on case to case base during current financial year 2012-13.

An official working in the Finance Ministry told that unavoidable, international and domestic contractual and obligatory payments will be considered on case to case basis and relaxation if required may be allowed by the Finance Secretary.

The aid-dependent Pakistan has to pay significant portion of the foreign debt during current fiscal which will plunge unpleasant implications for exchange rate that in return will fuel inflation due to increasing cost of imported goods.

According to the repayment schedule agreed between Pakistan and IMF, Pakistan will repay itís obtain $7.6 billion to the IMF till the end of fiscal year 2014-15. The $11.3 billion SBA programme had expired on September 30, 2011 and the last two trenches of $3.7 billion could not pay to Pakistan by IMF following Islamabadís failure to pursue key reforms as well as the emergence of the revenue figures fiasco. Despite depressive economic situation of the country, the government had paid back total amount of $2.52 billion to International Monetary Fund so far from foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Pakistan had enter into a $11.3 billion programme in 2008 with IMF and got disbursements of about $7.6 billion, but failed to get the remaining $3.7 billion due to slippages in performance criteria, leading to suspension of the programme in May 2010 and was ended unsuccessfully on September 30,2011.

Courtesy: The Nation

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