Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Saturday stressed that the PTI government paid $10.4 billion on account of debt servicing of external public loans including principal payment of $8.5 billion and $1.9 billion in interest payments. Azhar was responding to the reportage of the Annual Report on Foreign Economic Assistant (FEA) for FY19-20 which highlighted Pakistan’s increased reliance on foreign commercial loans. Pakistan recorded total external loan inflows worth $10.7 billion in the last fiscal year. The government raised $3.4 billion through foreign commercial loans to meet external debt obligations and support the balance of payments. “The PTI government is conducting the highest external debt repayment and servicing ever done by any government,” he wrote on Twitter. “Despite this high debt retirement, the pace of external debt rise is slower than during the last years of the PML-N government. And foreign exchange reserves are also rising.” Pakistan’s reliance on foreign commercial loans has increased as Islamabad generated $3.4 billion or 32 per cent of total external loan inflows of $10.7 billion obtained for supporting the balance of payment position during the fiscal year 2019-20. The report stated that during FY 2019-20, an amount of $6.5 billion has been disbursed by multilateral and bilateral development partners as compared to $4.1 billion last year, registering 59% growth. In addition, the government raised $3.4 billion from foreign commercial sources to meet its external debt obligations and support the balance of payments. Out of the total disbursement of $10.7 billion, 97% were loans and 3% were grants. Disbursements of $10.7 billion during FY 2019-20 were mainly under the projects and programme loans/grants from multilateral, bilateral development partners and financial institutions.