ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of the Parliament was told on Wednesday that Rs 128 trillion internal and $ 59 billion foreign loans are payable to Pakistan.

To a question, Law Minister Zahid Hamid told the house that internal loans were over Rs 128.58 trillion and external loans $ 59 billion till April 2017. He said government was paying interest on the said loans with a ration of 8.20% and 2.15% respectively. He said earlier the government was paying interest on defence saving certificate 12.75% while now it is paying at 7.54%. He said interest rate is fixed by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

In a written reply, the Senate was told that during the last three years government has borrowed Rs 749 billion from State Bank, which was decreasing gradually. The government is borrowing loans on long-term basis from scheduled banks instead of short term.  This will help lessen dependence on the State Bank. The 90% investment made through investment by the privatization of government institutions is being used to pay loans.  The Senate was further told that those living below the poverty line, was earning only Rs 3000 per month.

Federal Minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi replying a query of Senator Chaudhry Tanveer Khan said that Prime Minister has been written not to shut down the Engineering Development Board (EDB) as it was serving in the engineering department. He told that recommendations of the institution have been forwarded to the Prime Minister. He hoped the said institutions would not be closed down.

Replying a query of Senator Ahmed Hasan, Minister for Industries and Production told that production of small vehicles is bigger as compared to Pakistan. He said there was no competition among the auto manufacturers in Pakistan. He said it was reason of higher prices of small cars in Pakistan.  He informed that four new auto companies are making investment after the new auto policy. He categorically said that government has no control over increasing prices of vehicles.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid replying another supplementary question of Senator Ahmed Hasan said that survey of Benazir Bhutto Income Programme (BISP)is being conducted again, adding a contract with a firm would be signed officially.  

Replying another question of Senator Chaudhry Tanvir Ahmed Khan, Federal Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said that exports are refunded within twenty four hours.

Replying another supplementary question, he said testing institutions are paying tax.

Zahid Hamid told the House that deserving people of BISP are very low in number in South Waziristan Agency and North Waziristan Agency. He said survey of BISP would be completed till May 2018 after this the number of deserving people would increase.
Replying to another question raised by Senator Attiq Shaikh, Federal Minister for law said that mobile companies are working under branchless banking system. He said thirteen banks of the country have given permission of it. This process is completely overseen, he added.