Pakistan Budget: Foreign debt has climbed so much that now the Sharif government has started hiding it!

Let us tell you, the government of Pakistan tried to hide the foreign debt on the country, but the truth came out in front of everyone. This clarification of Finance Minister Miftah Ismail is not being embraced by anyone here that by mistake they forgot to mention the entire loan in the budget.

Pakistan Budget: Foreign debt has climbed so much that now the Sharif government has started hiding it!

Ismail presented the budget for the next financial year last week. Now after the full figures of foreign debt have come out, there has been a war of words between the ruling party and the opposition that who is really responsible for drowning the country in debt? After looking at the budget document, economic experts pointed out that the Finance Minister has underestimated the external debt on the country.

He said the debt shown in the budget document is $7 billion less than the actual external debt. After this came to light, Miftah Ismail admitted that he ‘by mistake’ forgot to mention some debts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and China in the budget. Now after the full amount has come out, it has come to know that Pakistan is immersed in debt to such an extent that there is a strong possibility of getting trapped in its debt trap. Of the loans not mentioned in the budget, $4 billion has been taken from China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

The budget document also did not mention at least $3 billion in loans taken from the IMF. Now news has come that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has requested China to immediately give a loan of two billion, so that Pakistan can repay the installments of its old debt. The opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) launched a scathing attack on the government after it came to the fore that the government did not reveal the full extent of the debt burden. In response to this, Finance Minister Ismail said that the blame for imposing debt on the country is on the former PTI government. The total amount of debt on the country increased by 78 per cent during the PTI regime, he said.

In response to this, PTI said that the Finance Minister is misleading the country. PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said the PTI government had taken a total of $52 billion in foreign debt, of which $38 billion was to repay the loans taken by the governments before that. In a separate tweet, Choudhary pointed out that Pakistan had an external debt of $45 billion in 2008-09, which rose to $70.5 billion in 2018-19 and $88 billion in 2022.

Analysts have said that due to the amount of debt the Pakistan government has planned to take in the fiscal year 2022-23, the foreign debt on the country will reach a record level. Paying the interest on this loan and its installments will then prove to be a big challenge. If the inflow of foreign exchange into the country does not increase in proportion to the debt liability, then Pakistan will be in the midst of default. Overall, the country seems to be caught in a debt trap.

By : News Desk

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