PTI government has taken record loans in first two years

 PTI government added Rs 11.3 trillion to the public debt in two years

Pakistan’s total public debt – domestic and external – was recorded at Rs 36.3 trillion in the financial year 2019-20 , up 154pc (or Rs22 trillion) since 2013, when it was recorded at Rs 14.3 trillion, an official document of the finance ministry revealed. 

During the first two years in power, the PTI government increased the public debt by Rs 11.3 trillion or 45.2pc. The same in FY18 was recorded at Rs25 trillion.  

In financial year 2008, When PPP took power after the defeat of General (r) Pervez Musharaf backed PML-Q in the general elections in 2008,  Pakistan’s total public debt was Rs6.1 trillion. By the end of the PPP-led government in 2013, the debt had risen to Rs 14.3 trillion (Rs8.2 trillion or +134pc). 

The government of PML-N, in his five-year tenure (2013-18), further piled a debt of Rs 10.7 trillion, taking the country’s total to Rs25 trillion. PML-N break the record set by PPP government. 

But Imran Khan’s government has surpassed the previous government by matching the amount of debt only in two years. PTI government has borrowed more in two years than the full five years tenure of PML-N government. PTI government has now break the record set by the PML-N government. 

It may be noted here that if Pakistan today decides to retire all its public debt, then it will have to forego around 87pc of its gross domestic product (GDP), which, at present, stands at Rs41.7 trillion. This also indicates that Pakistan has violated the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDLA), which calls for limiting the debt to below 60pc of GDP. 

Of the total public debt, Pakistan’s domestic debt was recorded at Rs23.2 trillion in FY20. External debt clocked in at Rs 13.1 trillion.  

It is pertinent to mention that the PPP government had added Rs1.9 trillion (65.5pc) to the country’s external debt, PML-N government further burdened the nation with Rs3.7 trillion (77pc) external dent, while the incumbent PTI government, only in two years, has jacked the external debt up by Rs4.6 trillion (54pc). 

                                                                           R K Bhatti

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