ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday said the government is borrowing around eight billion dollars per annum while it has taken loans worth 24 billion dollars during the last three years.

Government took loans from different sources including IMF and through floating bonds in the international market while over 2.5 billion was paid as interest on these loans, said

Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He said that the cited objectives of these loans were said to be improving balance of payment situation, reduce dependence on domestic loans, debt repayment and keep exchange rate stable.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that despite record loans the economy is not in very good shape as one of the most important sectors of exports is showing dismal performance.

He said that exports fell by five billion in the last three years which is a grave threat to the economy. Our exports continue to fall while that of rival economies like India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh etc. continue to improve.

The veteran business leader said that announcements by the top government officials to improve exports through interventions remain unimplemented which has added to the miseries of the external sector.

Exporters are reeling due to energy crisis, want of refunds, taxation problems and jacked up cost of doing business, he added.

The weakness of the external sector will take toll on economy therefore policymakers should not delay reforms in this critical sector, he demanded.