Country heading towards debt trap; Fehmida Jamali

Friday, 03 March 2017 09:34 | READ 191 TIMES Written by 
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Country heading towards debt trap; Fehmida Jamali

LAHORE: President, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) Women Wing Balochistan, Fehmida Jamali said the country overall debt increased by 68% of the total size of the economy in the incumbent government which is against the law of the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDL).

Under the rules when debt increased as per the prescribed ratio of FRDL, then you have to refer the matter in the parliament to take the necessary approval, but till now finance minister failed to do that which was a legal obligation on him.

Talking to newsmenon Friday, Fehmida Jamali said increase in debt burden is alarming as the majority of loans are being spent on non-productive sectors.

The productive loans for development projects are good but national sovereignty should be kept in sight while increasing the debt burden. She said limit of debts was fixed at 60 percent of GDP while Pakistan had reached 68 percent due to which 40 percent of budget was spent on debt servicing instead of education and health. She believed that situation could be worsening if timely actions were not taken to increase exports and human resource, and control imports.

Fehmida said during the ruling tenure of PML-N government beginning June 2013 and its completion in June 2018, it has been reliant on heavy and expensive external debt borrowings after it failed to increase exports and attract foreign direct investment; though getting loans for economic needs was not a surprising thing, as United States was also largest loan taking country in the world but the important aspect is the loans should not be taken for the repayment of loans only but for spending on productivity projects, like on untapped sectors i.e agriculture, minerals.

Jamali also questioned about the ratio of equity and debt of the CPEC investment which is settled outside Pakistan and the SBP was seeking details from the Chinese companies which were not coming yet.

PTI President further called for value addition and effective marketing to increase exports which are declined to $20 billion from $25 billion; including the necessary restructuring in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) which is a primary organization to look after the country exports which spend billion of rupees of the tax payer money annually with no outcome