PTI Govt plans to offer profitable dollar bonds to overseas Pakistanis


ISLAMABAD: The incoming Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government plans to offer profitable dollar bonds to overseas Pakistanis, place China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreements before parliament, but is unlikely to offer any relief to the people in the first 100 days in office.
Speaking at the first formal press conference after the recent elections, the likely new finance minister Asad Umar said that offering any relief or subsidy to the people in first 100 days was like giving lollipops. He said the first 100 days would also not see a decision that would change the destiny of the nation, but a clear direction on what “we promised and where we are headed for stock-taking”.
He complained that the local and international media did not quote him accurately in recent reports about the need for $12 billion foreign financing, privatisation of 200 companies, including the Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills, and so on. He said there was no discussion so far on revising budget and non-transparency in foreign loans was the real challenge.
Mr Umar said the PTI so far did not have access to real data, nor did it have any outside view of the latest situation but based on the best available information, one thing was clear that the requirement was reasonably urgent to examine all available options to finance external account. “The situation is such that we don’t have the luxury of choosing one option, but will have to plan all options in parallel, including the IMF support within six weeks.”
The PTI leader said Sukuk bond, Eurobond, bilateral and multilateral options were on the table, but most importantly his party wanted to tap into overseas Pakistanis’ potential in a big way. “The Pakistanis abroad have a sentimental relationship with PTI and Imran Khan and we plan to give them debt instruments with returns better than what they are getting at present so that they could also take a pride in nation building.”
He said it could be on the pattern of dollar-denominated bond of the Central Directorate of National Savings and the people abroad also wanted its tradability. Secondly, he added, overseas Pakistanis would also be offered equity instruments, for example, in real estate, but by taking risk away from those who had bad experiences of their investments. “There is no size decided, nor market assessed” and it would depend on the situation and demand, he said in response to a question.