$12 billion public debt repaid in 3 years: Senate body told


ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP): The Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs was informed here on Wednesday that the federal government had repaid $12 billion public debt during last three years.

“During the period from July 2013 to June 2016, the government received a total debt of $24.99 billion, out of which is $12.99 billion is outstanding,” the Director General Debt, Ministry of Finance, told the committee.

He said by June 30 this year, the total public debt payable by Pakistan was $57.8 billion.

He also clarified that the non-public debt of $15 billion was not the obligation of the government.

The committee, which met here with Saleem H. Mandviwala in the chair, was also apprised that currently total domestic borrowing of the government was Rs 3.1 trillion.

Senator Mohsin Aziz asked the Finance Ministry officials to clarify the position regarding $1.5 billion provided by Saudi Arabia.

The DG Debt said it was a gift from the Saudi government, which had already been clarified by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar in a press briefing recently.

Regarding debt to GDP ratio, the DG Debt said by end of June 2016, the ratio was 66.5 per cent and in two years time the government would have to bring it down to 60 per cent.

Briefing the committee SME Bank, its president Ihsanul Haq said currently net deposits of the bank were Rs 4.7 billion.

The privatization process of the bank was underway and it would hopefully be completed by next year.

The committee directed the authorities concerned to appoint the bank’s board of directors chairman within a month.

Regrading embezzlement in the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme in National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Mardan Region, an NBP official informed the committee that the persons involved in the fraud were immediately suspended and an FIR would be lodged against them.

The committee, meanwhile, expressed concern over fluctuation in sales taxe rates on the petroleum products.

Rehmatullah Wazir, Member Inland Revenue, told the committee that the prices of the petroleum products in Pakistan were the lowest in the region.

Senators Mushahidullah Khan, Mohsin Khan Leghari, Mohsin Aziz, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hassani, Kamil Ali Agha and Nuzhat Yasmeen also attended the meeting.