External debt numbers being quoted by certain quarters incorrect:Dar

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 7 (APP): Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar has clarified that the external debt numbers being quoted by certain quarters were incorrect as they do not reflect the standard definitions accepted by multilateral financial institutions.

The misunderstanding about public debt numbers should be removed and necessary information should be disseminated for the purpose, he directed while chairing a meeting here which reviewed issues related to public debt management here.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Finance, Secretary Economic Affairs Divison, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Director General Debt and other senior officials of SBP and Finance Ministry, said a ministry statement.

He directed the Debt Policy Coordination Office to carry out further in-depth analysis on different aspects of debt portfolio in order to have a proactive debt management strategy that should cater to the various risks faced by the government with regard to refinancing and lengthening of the debt portfolio to arrive at optimal cost risk trade off.

The meeting was informed that “debt to GDP has been on a declining trajectory for the last two years”.

The DG Debt presented an overview of the evolution of public debt stock over the years.

The presentation included the composition of existing debt portfolio, the currency mix, maturity profile and the mechanism and arrangements for debt servicing.

It was highlighted that the maturity profile of the domestic debt has been lengthened during the last two years.

It was also observed that most of the external loans contracted and disbursed since June 2013 were on concessional terms.

Furthermore, the cost and risks indicators of public debt portfolio have also improved during the last two fiscal years.

Debt to GDP has been on a declining trajectory for the last two years.

The DPCO had carried out detailed working on periodic reconciliation of domestic and external debt statistics.