Pakistan’s debts and liabilities continued to increase every month mainly due to the excessive heavy borrowing of the federal and provincial governments to meet their budgetary expenses and execute development projects, which is showing its overall burden after nearing Rs. 26 trillion.
According to the central bank, the overall debt and liabilities of the country which included external and domestic loans increased to Rs. 25.817 trillion by end of September 2017, after addition of Rs. 2.303 trillion in one year.
The debt and liabilities burden stood at Rs. 25.062 billion by the end of June, 2017 showing an addition of Rs. 755 billion merely in one quarter of the current financial year.
From the overall Rs.25.817 trillion in debt and liabilities:
- government loans from domestic financial market stood at Rs. 15.375 trillion.
- loans from external or foreign markets stood at Rs.6.029 trillion.
- Total liabilities reached Rs.380 billion.
- debt from IMF stands at Rs. 654 billion.
All such foreign debts mentioned in the local currency have to be repaid in Dollar.
The burden of debt and liabilities is seriously posing a challenge to the economy being managed by PML-N Government.
The government has continued to enhance the burden of loans from domestic and external sources, which is a matter of deep concern for the economy as cited by independent economists.
Due to prevailing low policy rates, borrowing specially from local banks could be manageable, however the recent depreciation of the local currency against Dollar has not only increased the value of external debt but it will make external borrowing more expensive.
The external debts continued to retain its pressure on foreign exchange reserves which is gradually depleting due to the regular payment on the account of debt-servicing (interest) and loans.
The debt-to-GDP ratio of the country stands at 72 percent when it comes to the value of GDP that reached Rs. 35.909 trillion by end of September 2017.
It means more than 70 percent of the formal and documented economy is based on debts. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan’s economic system is largely undocumented because of the unbanked population and weak structure of government institutions.
Previously, the debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 78.7% by end of June 2017. The debt-to-GDP ratio has been improving slowly despite surging loans mainly because of the increasing value of GDP on the back of constant surge in economic activities.
This ratio may further decline in the future if the economic activities continue to be boosted up by private sector backed by the government policies especially in the context of CPEC. Also, the government needs control over its debts burden to balance the equation.