Asad Umar—the Minister for Planning said that the economy would grow with the paying of loans.
While talking to media on Saturday in Karachi, he said that the assertion of the United States Acting Assistant Secretary for the South and Central Asian Affairs—Alice Wells about CPEC related loans is not based on facts.
The minister mentioned that it is true that the foreign debt of Pakistan has attained a level that is blocking the growth of economy. He also said that the loans were taken in the past as imports exceeded the exports of the nation and trade deficit was surging.
Asad Umar said that the total debt of Pakistan is 74 billion dollars. Of this, the debt from China is 18 billion dollars, which is less than one fourth. He added that CPEC related debt out of 18 billion dollars is 4.9 billion dollars. And said that the CPEC loan is 7 percent of the entire external debt.
He said that the three fourth of the debt is from other nations or multilateral institutions. The minister further indicated that the Chinese institutions funded Pakistan at a tough economic time owing to the deep friendship ties between the two nations.
The minister was satisfied that the commercial bilateral debt with China would start decreasing at a faster pace in the days to come and would be replaced by the multilateral debt.
Asad Umar said that the public debt taken from China has a maturity of 20 years with average interest rate of 2.34 percent. He further added that the first phase of CPEC focused on the road infrastructure and energy related projects.