(July 21, 2017)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Secretary General of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday expressed concern over record borrowing during the outgoing fiscal terming it unsustainable.
The Government borrowed 10.1 billion dollar during the last fiscal year to repay debts and interests which is a record while it will continue to borrow during the ongoing fiscal due to falling exports and growing imports, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that 37 percent loans were acquired from China while rest of the borrowings were made from multiple sources including 4.36 billion dollars of commercial loans.
The Government spent $4.4 billion on debt servicing while the remaining amount was utilised for other venues, he added.
He said that growing reliance on loans indicates the need for improved exports that dipped to 20.44 billion dollars during the outgoing fiscals. On the other hand, the current account deficit swelled to $12.1 billion and trade deficit jumped to unprecedented $32 billion.
The Business Leader said that IMF has projected that Pakistan would need 16.2 billion dollars to discharge foreign obligations while local experts say that the amount needed would be no less than 19.7 billion dollars while the Forex reserves can fall to the level of ten billion dollars in few months.
He said the government has recently fired a semi-educated official of TDAP while was just a window dressing. Meaningful reforms should be introduced and sector-specific export companies should be established with the full participation of the private sector.
The issues of limping export sector including refunds should be resolved immediately, he demanded.