ISLAMABAD: The Finance Ministry is eyeing $5 billion foreign inflows into the country by May 15 to strengthen its foreign exchange reserves and the rupee-dollar parity, a senior official at the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.
These inflows would include budgetary support from the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the shape of proceeds of auction of 3G and 4G spectrums, and arrears of coalition support fund (CSF), the official added.
Giving details of the fiscal operations until March 31, for the first nine month of the ongoing fiscal year 2013-14, the official said that the government had managed to bring the budget deficit to 3.1 percent of the GDP, or Rs 815 billion, as compared to the deficit of 4.6 percent of the GDP in the same period of last fiscal year (2012-13).
“The government is embarked upon building foreign exchange reserves to $20 billion by the end of its tenure. By the end of the ongoing fiscal year (2013-14), these are to be jacked up further by $5 billion,” the official said.
According to the firmed up estimates of the auction of 3G and 4G spectrums, which is scheduled for April 23 and is expected to generate around $3 billion for Pakistan, sources said that 50 percent of this amount would be made available to Pakistan soon after the bidding by successful bidders.
The 50 percent of the bid amount is to constitute around $1.5 billion. This would help jack up foreign exchange reserves to a further comfortable level, sources said.
An official at the minister informed that the executive board meeting of the WB was scheduled for April 23 and April 24 in Washington, which is expected to approve $1 billion budgetary support. This approval would enable Pakistan to immediately receive the entire amount in the State Bank of Pakistan’s account, he said.
Similarly, the executive board of the ADB is also expected to approve $500 million budgetary support for Pakistan and this approval would also make this money available to Pakistan immediately.
The official informed that Pakistan was also expecting $350 million arrears of the CSF from the United States. Meanwhile, according to the provisional figures, the federal tax collection in the first three quarters (July 2013 to March 2014) amounted to Rs 1.565 trillion, and non-tax revenue collection stood at Rs 790 billion against the total expenditures of Rs 2.405 trillion.
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