Dawn News

March, 28 2015
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Highest-ever fiscal deficit at Rs1.336tr

According to consolidated fiscal data released by the finance ministry, fiscal data figures have reached almost 39 per cent of total expenditure and 59 per cent of revenue, the highest ever in the country's history. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Sept 29: The fiscal deficit during 2010-11 stood at a whopping Rs1.336 trillion -- highest in the country’s history and almost 39 per cent of total expenditure and 59 per cent of revenue.

According to consolidated fiscal data released by the finance ministry, the fiscal deficit, excluding payments of electricity subsidies, was Rs1.194 trillion or 5.9 per cent of GDP. However, after inclusion of one-time off-budget electricity subsidy payments of Rs142 billion to Wapda’s power companies, the overall deficit worked out at Rs1.336 trillion or 6.6 per cent of GDP.

During 2009-10, the deficit was Rs929 billion, 6.3 per cent of GDP, and increased by Rs407 billion in a year.

Ironically, revenue collection showed a dismal performance. The total collection declined significantly to 12.5 per cent of GDP against 14.2 per cent in 2009-10, despite a series of additional tax measures introduced in March.

Tax revenue dropped to 9.4 per cent of GDP from 10 per cent achieved in the previous year.

In absolute terms, total revenues amounted to Rs2.253 trillion, an 8.3 per cent increase over Rs2.078 trillion last year.

The tax revenue increased to Rs1.699 trillion from Rs1.473 trillion, by 15.3 per cent.

The growth in total provincial revenue was slightly better at 17.8 per cent.

The total non-tax revenue also declined to 3.1 per cent of GDP from the previous year’s 4.1 per cent, showing widespread erosion of tax collection efforts against the potential.

Even in absolute terms, the non-tax revenue stood at 553.5 billion, about 8.5 per cent lower than the previous years’ Rs605 billion. The federal non-tax revenue declined to Rs491 billion from Rs537 billion -- a drop of 8.5 per cent. The provincial non-tax revenues also dropped by 8.5 per cent to Rs62 billion, from Rs68 billion a year ago.

The finance ministry said the total expenditure during 2010-11 increased by 14.6 per cent to Rs3.447 trillion, from Rs3.007 trillion in 2009-10. But the revenue growth of 8.3 per cent did not keep pace with 14.6 per cent increase in expenditure, leading to the huge fiscal deficit.

On a more dismal note, the current expenditure posted a substantial growth of about 22 per cent to Rs2.9 trillion from Rs2.386 trillion. Of this, interest payments increased by 8.7 per cent to Rs698 billion from Rs642 billion.

Defence expenditure increased by a massive 20 per cent to Rs451 billion from Rs375 billion in 2009-10. Total defence- and security-related grants amounted Rs682 billion (Rs232 billion for security), showing a nine per cent increase over Rs625 billion (Rs250 billion security grants) in 2009-10.

On the contrary, the development expenditure and net lending dropped from Rs653 billion in 2009-10 to Rs514 billion, showing a reduction of 21.3 per cent or Rs139 billion.

The expenditure on the public sector development programme (PSDP) dropped by 11 per cent to Rs461.5 billion from Rs517 billion.

This meant the expenditure on improving the lives of the people posted a sizable reduction when seen in the context of increased prices and deteriorating poverty situation.

There was a record 102 per cent growth in bank borrowing which has a snowballing impact on inflation as a result of monetisation of fiscal deficit and contraction in credit to the private sector for investment.

To meet the deficit, the government had to borrow a record Rs615 billion from the banking sector, up Rs311 billion from Rs304 billion in 2009-10.

The non-bank borrowing increased by 8.3 per cent to Rs472 billion from Rs436 billion.

Interestingly, external financing to bridge the deficit posted a reduction of 43 per cent to Rs108 billion from the previous year’s Rs189 billion, showing a falling international confidence to extend financing to an economy battered by a war-like situation and devastating floods.

As a result, domestic deficit financing increased by as much as 47 per cent (Rs311 billion) to Rs1.086 trillion from Rs740 billion.


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