ISLAMABAD: Despite increasing the national debt in the last four years, the government once again started its begging journey. A team of Finance Ministry is visiting UAE and America to seek more loans through the sale of Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) which will further increase the debt of the country by two to three billon dollars.
The sources of Ministry of Finance, said that Ismail Mufta is leading the financial team along with Secretary Finance Shahid Mahmood, seeking support of some international banks to sell this five year Sukuk Bonds, but his time these bonds are being offered on very high rates only to get money to run the affairs of the government already facing financial crisis.
The Financial team will organize road shows in Middle East and United States to sell these Sukuk Bonds to collect US dollars from two to three billion.
The government approached the international market in September 2016 last year, for the bond issue. Instead of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is on sick leave and in London, this time Dr Miftah Ismail is now leading the Pakistani team. The other members of the team are Secretary Finance Shahid Mahmood and Governor State Bank of Pakistan Tariq Bajwa.
Pakistan had floated Sukuk in September 2016 at the lowest interest rate of 5.5% but its September 2015 five-year Eurobond at 8.25% was the most expensive deal.
The road shows by the financial team would begin from Dubai and the next stopover will be London and then the team will visit United States.
The federal cabinet had allowed borrowing of up to $3 billion from international debt markets by floating sovereign bonds.
According to sources Pakistan has signed the legal agreement with a consortium of banks including Standard Chartered Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Bank for the Sukuk bonds transaction.