ISLAMABAD: French and German ambassadors on Monday met with Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and discussed with the adviser, the details of the debt rescheduling offered by G-20 countries, and the need for any further loans.

A statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Monday stated that Pakistan’s stance in favour of debt rescheduling drive at the G-20 forum was based on the belief that the poorer countries genuinely required this assistance even though Pakistan had benefited least from the relief.

He also shared that $1.8 billion due in debt servicing to G-20 countries till December 2020 were under process of rescheduling.

Pakistan is not going for any commercial loan rescheduling until now, he added.

Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck, ambassador of Germany accompanied by French Ambassador Dr Marc Barety and Economic Counselor Anais Boitiere, called on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, here at the Finance Division.

The statement added that the advisor welcomed the ambassadors and shared with them the overall picture of the country’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic and its future impact on the overall progress of the economy.

He shared that before the pandemic Pakistan was successfully able to control its current account deficit and was expecting a growth of three percent during the ongoing financial year after observing strict financial discipline.

However, after the outbreak the growth projections have become difficult to realize.

He shared that due to the ongoing circumstances it is expected that the growth might remain between -1 percent to -1.5 percent.

He also told the ambassadors about the details of the relief package offered to the vulnerable by the prime minister through Ehsaas Programme, and the steps which the government is taking to support the SME sector.

The advisor maintained that the Finance Division would adhere to the requirements of Debt Limitation Act before planning to take up additional burden as most of the loans will be for the purpose of clearing old debt stocks.

The adviser appreciated the support offered by the friendly countries, and said that he hopes that the cooperation will continue in future for the benefit of the people of the three countries.