ISLAMABAD: (APP) Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid on Thursday informed the Senate that the incumbent government had paid $ 12 billion foreign debt while the foreign exchange stood at $ 24 billion for the first time in country's history.
Replying a Calling Attention Notice raised by Syed Shibli Faraz regarding the alarming increase in local and foreign loans, the minister said that loans were only obtained to bridge the financial deficit.
The Minister said debt ratio to GDP in 2008 was recorded at 57.5 percent while it was 63.8 per cent in 2013 and mounted to 64.9 per cent in 2016.
Only 1.1 per cent increased was witnessed in the debt during 2013-16, he added.
He said the ratio would be reduced in 2018.
He said that domestic debt was Rs 3274 billion in 2008 in which 24 per cent increased was recorded in 2013 while 8.6 per cent increase was witnessed during 2013-16.
The minister said the foreign debt was $ 41.80 billion in 2008 which was jumped to $ 48.40 billion in 2013 while it stood at $ 57.70 billion in 2016.
He said the government was making efforts to reduce debt burden and the loan programme showed a downward trajectory.