Pakistan public debt surges to Rs 59.2 trillion

Islamabad: Pakistan’s total public debt was recorded at Rs 59.2 trillion at the end-March 2023, registering an increase of Rs 10,005 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year 2022-23.


According to Economic Survey 2022-23 that domestic debt was recorded at Rs 35.076 Trillion while external public debt was recorded at Rs 24.171 Trillion or US$ 85.2 billion. It is important to note that as of the current dollar rate, Pakistan’s entire GDP at the current dollar rate is close to a 100 trillion PKR.


Out of Rs 59.247 Trillion total public debt, the government debt was recorded Rs 54.392 trillion in end March 2023.


According to Survey, the debt stock of multilateral sources increased by US$ 2.3 billion during the period. On the other hand, bilateral debt stock decreased by US$ 0.9 billion, while the debt stock of commercial loans registered a net decrease of around US$ 3.7 billion.


The main gross inflows included US$ 1.1 billion from the IMF program, US$ 1.5 billion from ADB’s BRACE program, US$ 1.1 billion from World Bank, and US$ 0.5 billion from AIIB.


The gross repayment to foreign commercial banks was US$ 4.5 billion, out of which, US$ 0.7 billion was refinanced by China Development Bank (CDB).


The federal government repaid US$ 1.0 billion of international Sukuk in December 2022. Whereas, the stock of Pakistan Banao Certificates, Naya Pakistan Certificates, and non-resident investment in Government securities (T-bills & PIBs) cumulatively decreased by US$ 0.4 billion.


According to the Economic Survey, gross external loan disbursements were recorded at US$ 7,032 million during the first nine months of FY23.


On the other hand, external public debt repayments were recorded at US$ 11,400 million during the same period, up from $8,139 million in 9MFY22.


This increase in repayments is primarily due to resumption of debt repayment to bilateral creditors, which were deferred under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) US$ 1,000 million International Sukuk maturity in Dec 2022 higher repayment of commercial loans besides bank loans and other short-term credits.


The Survey states that Interest payments were recorded at US$ 2,119 million during the first nine months of FY2022 as compared to US$ 1,297 million during the same period of the preceding year.


In addition to net external inflows, the following factors influenced the movement in external public debt stock during the first nine months of the current fiscal year.


In US Dollar terms, revaluation losses owing to the depreciation of the US Dollar against other international currencies increased the external public debt stock by around US$ 470 million.


The above-mentioned translational loss on account of the depreciation of the US Dollar against other international currencies added further to the depreciation of the Pak Rupee against the US Dollar by around 39 percent which led to an increase in the Rupee value of external debt by around Rs. 6.8 trillion.


According to the report, permanent debt constituted 71 % of the domestic debt portfolio and was recorded at Rs. 24,885 billion at end of March 2023, representing an increase of Rs. 4,507 billion during the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal year.


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