Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday announced that Pakistan had received US$500 million in “program financing” from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The monies were transferred in line with an AIIB board green-light to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has transferred today, as per their Board’s approval, to State Bank of Pakistan/Government of Pakistan US$500 million as program financing,” Dar said in his tweet.
Earlier on Monday, economist Aqdas Afzal said Pakistan will not default. Afzal made the comments in flagship Naya Daur show Khabar Say Aagay. The nation, he said, was no where even close to it.
Afzal said those raising the bogey of default were doing so to derive political mileage. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was failing to comprehend that the more he spoke about rising risk of default, the more people would look towards the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) to salvage the situation. The PML-N, Afzal said, always brought economic stability. This, he said, was undisputed.
He said he also did not agree with former finance minister Miftah Ismail’s comments on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program being in jeopardy. The PML-N, he said, also had a plurality of views on economics. This, the economist said, must be inspected in context. Afzal said the economy would stabilise over the coming year.
In a Monday contribution for newspaper-of-record Dawn Dar’s predecessor Ismail said that the nation’s default risk had surged to a “dangerous level”. This, he said, won’t be curbed even after December bonds stood cleared.
The time was ripe, Ismail said, for national interest to prevail over the political. The governing coalition, he said, will not be in a position to rap anyone including the PTI if it failed to overcome the challenge given its “eager” accession to power.