Public debt soars to Rs35.6tr

Published September 29, 2020
Debt held by the federal government jumped by Rs2.757 trillion or 8.41 per cent to Rs35.555tr as of July end, up from Rs32.798tr in same period of 2019, according to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan. — File photo
Debt held by the federal government jumped by Rs2.757 trillion or 8.41 per cent to Rs35.555tr as of July end, up from Rs32.798tr in same period of 2019, according to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan. — File photo

KARACHI: Debt held by the federal government jumped by Rs2.757 trillion or 8.41 per cent to Rs35.555tr as of July end, up from Rs32.798tr in same period of 2019, according to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan on Monday.

Compared to Rs35.106tr in June this year, the public debt inched up 1.28pc or Rs450bn.

Bulk of that came from domestic borrowing which stood at Rs23.392tr by July end, increasing by Rs1.38tr from Rs22.01tr in corresponding month of last year.

Pakistan Investment Bonds, which accounted for the lion’s share of federal government’s long-term debt, rose by Rs2.189tr or 19.88pc to reach Rs13.195tr at the end of July, from Rs11.006tr in the same month of 2019.

The stock of prize bonds was recorded at Rs733.6 billion as of July, declining by Rs45.8bn in same month of 2019 and Rs500 million compared to June this year.

In short-term debt, market treasury bills stood at Rs5.332tr by the end of period in review, falling from Rs6.21tr in corresponding month of 2019.

Meanwhile, the central government held Rs12.164tr in external debt by July, which was higher by Rs1.378tr compared to Rs10.786tr at the end of June.

It was driven by long-term debt which accounted for much of the total at Rs11.977tr in July, compared to Rs10.655tr in corresponding month last year.

Another dataset published by the SBP a few days back showed Pakistan’s public external debt at $87.885bn by June end. That represented an increase of $3.949bn over $83.936bn in same month of 2019.

Outstanding debt owed by the country to the International Monetary Fund was registered at $7.68bn by FY20, higher by $2.032bn compared to $5.648bn in FY19.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2020

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