| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Pakistan seeks rescheduling of $27 bln bilateral debt, says finance minister

Ishaq Dar, Pakistan’s new finance minister, told Reuters on Friday that he will seek rescheduling of around $27 billion in non-Paris Club debt, mostly owing to China, but will not demand haircuts as part of any restructuring.

Dar ruled out the idea of Pakistan’s debt default, an extension of the maturity date on bonds due in December, or a renegotiation of Pakistan’s present International Monetary Fund program in an interview.

The veteran finance minister said multilateral development banks and international donors have been “quite flexible” with ways to meet Pakistan’s external financing needs estimated at about $32 billion after devastating floods. Some of this may come from reallocating funds from previously approved, slower-disbursing development loans, he added.

Dar, who is participating in the IMF and World Bank annual meetings just over two weeks after taking office, said that Pakistan will seek restructuring on equal terms for all bilateral creditors.

He declined to comment when asked whether he thought it would be difficult to persuade China, creditor for about $23 billion of the debt, to participate.

But asked whether Pakistan would seek to reduce debt principal, he said “rescheduling is fine, but we are not seeking a haircut. That’s not fair.”

  • Reuters