Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said Pakistan is sitting on hundreds of billions of rupees in "dead capital" in the form of state land and rest houses and official residences built on that land.
The premier took to Twitter to share figures extracted from data he received regarding 90 per cent of government-owned land in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal areas, and buildings constructed on the estates.
According to figures cited by PM Khan, 34,459 kanals of the state-owned land is located in rural areas while 17,035 kanals is in urban areas.
"Just the urban land with buildings is worth over Rs300bn!" Khan wrote.
Suggesting that this money could be used for other purposes of public interest, the prime minister said: "A country that has to borrow money to pay interest on its loans[...] is sitting on huge amounts of dead capital in the form of this govt-owned land with buildings."
The loans that the country has been taking are burdening its future generations, Khan said, noting that the daily interest liability is a whopping Rs5bn.
So a country that has to borrow money to pay interest on its loans (burdening our future generations) - & daily interest payment is Rs 5 b - is sitting on huge amounts of dead capital (just 90% of urban holdings is worth Rs 300b) in the form of this govt-owned land with buildings https://t.co/Mj3Nvnt7xE— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 10, 2018
The premier's statement comes amid an austerity drive undertaken by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led (PTI) government to try and cut down on expenditures.
At a meeting of the newly formed Economic Advisory Council (EAC) last week, radical steps were discussed to curb imports, including a year-long ban on imports for cheese, cars, mobile phones and fruit that could “save some $4-5 billion”, according to Ashfaque Hasan Khan, a university professor who is one of more than a dozen EAC members.