Islamabad, August 26, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has shown great concerns over the 35 percent increase in Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities in one year period and called upon the government to formulate a comprehensive strategy to rid the country of this serious issue as the mounting burden of debt and liabilities would plunge the country into severe debt trap and jeopardize the future of our posterity.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal President and Rafat Farid Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities were Rs. 29.8 trillion by June 2018 that have surged to Rs.40.2 trillion by June 2019 showing an increase of Rs.10.4 trillion in just one year that should be a cause of concern for policymakers.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that debt in percentage of GDP has crossed the red line of 100 percent to reach 104.3 percent. He said that from 2013 to 2018, total public debt and liabilities of Pakistan increased from Rs.14 trillion to Rs.29 trillion, indicating a hike of Rs15 trillion. However, he said that in just one-year tenure of the PTI government, total debt and liabilities have increased by Rs10.4 trillion, which was worrisome. He said that if this unhealthy trend of heavy borrowing continued, Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities could exceed Rs.80-trillion-mark over the next few years that would make the economic future of the country bleaker.
ICCI President said that apart from increasing debt and liabilities of the country, the current government has increased key interest rate and prices of gas, electricity and petroleum products, passing on whole burden to the private sector and the common man. Due to this situation, every segment of the society was facing problems, he added. He said that instead of resorting to heavy borrowing, government should take urgent measures to control its own expenditures.
He said that despite tall claims of austerity measures, no visible reduction was seen in government’s expenditures. He said that due to such tough policies of the government, every sector of the economy was in trouble and production of small and big industries was on the decline causing significant slump in business activities. He said that if government was serious in reviving the economy, it should create a conducive environment for business sector by reducing the prices of gas, electricity and POL products. It would reduce the cost of doing business and provide sufficient relief to the inflation-stricken general public, he added.
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