Pakistan asks US to provide $2 billion under committed Kerry-Lugar fund | Pakistan Today

Pakistan asks US to provide $2 billion under committed Kerry-Lugar fund

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked the United States (US) to provide USD 2 billion committed money under the Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) aid programme, sources privy to the development said on Thursday.

Sources told that caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Tuesday in a meeting conveyed to US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells that America should disburse the $2 billion pending money under KLB since July 2015.

Wells assured that she will convey the message to the American administration, they added.

The finance minister made the request to the US as the caretaker federal government is facing a financial crisis. Akhtar asked the Americans to pay the committed money under the KLB, sources confirmed.

Pakistan foreign exchange reserves have been plunged down to USD 9.7 billion as sources told that Pakistan has to pay USD 2 billion in September against the loans.

“The country’s financial position is deteriorating with every passing day but the incumbent minister, rather than lobbying to arrange money for Pakistan, is paying all attention to revamping of institutions,” sources added.

They added that the outgoing government could not revamp the FBR in last five years so how could she do it in two months.

It is pertinent to mention here that FM Dr Shamshad Akhtar had already said that caretaker will not approach to International Monetary Fund (IMF) for any bailout package.

Pakistan had received a total of Rs 100.405 billion under the KLB. The breakup of these amount is: Rs 305 million in 2015-16, Rs 5.2 billion in 2014-15, Rs 16.2 billion in 2013-14, Rs 6.5 for 2012-13, Rs 20.3 billion in 2011-12 and Rs 51.9 billion in 2010-11. There was no disbursement under the KLB in the revised budget documents for 2009-10.

On the other hand, the US claimed that over $4.681 billion was paid against the total obligation of $7.5 billion under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill from the US till 2016.

Officials told Pakistan Today that every year, the government allocated an amount of $750 million to $1.2 billion in the budget since 2009, and has received the amount till 2015. However, after the ties between the two countries deteriorated, the US government stopped disbursing any money to Pakistan, they added.

The government treats this money as tax receipt as American had committed to pay money against the war and terror.

In his New Year’s tweet, US President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving Washington nothing but ‘lies and deceit’, alleging that Pakistan did very little to eradicate the terrorist safe havens in the country.

He said Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years” whereas Pakistan replied to the US that the country had received $5.32 billion under the various agreements of civilian assistance against the commitment of more than $7bn since 2001.



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