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Pakistan received $111m from US for anti-terror efforts: Senate told

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan during the question hour, in reply to a question by Senator Ch. Tanvir Khan said that the United States (US) also had agreed to provide Pakistan dollars 132 million for counter-terror efforts, of which dollars 111 million had been received. The expenditure also included Rs19.420 billion for lighting and fencing of Pak-Afghan border.

An additional Rs45 billion were given to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Secretariat for the rehabilitation and return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the minister said.

He said the government had also taken steps to stop the circulation of counterfeit foreign currency through currency exchange dealers.

To another question, he said that share of foreign loans as percentage of GDP had declined from 21.4 per cent to 20.6 per recent in 2016-17 while it was around 29.3 per cent in 2009-10.

Likewise, share of foreign loans in total public debt was around 48 per cent in 2009-10, which had reduced to 31 per cent in 2016-17.

Hence, the government had been able to reduce the relative foreign debt burden of Pakistan.

Responding to a question by Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, the Finance Minister noted that a total of 34 public and private sector banks were operating across Pakistan, which included five public sector banks, four specialised public sector banks and 20 private and five foreign banks. He said he needed fresh notice, when Senator Babar asked, was the Bank of China given any relaxation or concession.

The minister said that owing to enhanced enforcement measures, foreign currency smuggling abroad had been brought down. He noted that during the last five years, dollars 2.154 million had been seized.

The minister said that under the head of petroleum levy, Rs131357million collected in 2014-15, Rs149290 million in 2015-16 and Rs166696 million in 2016-17.