PSEs losses surged to Rs1 trillion by end of 3rd quarter FY18: SBP

Data from the central bank reveals PSEs debt and liabilities rose one percentage in 15 months starting December 2016 till March 2018, when it was 2.5 percent

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KARACHI: The latest issue of the statistical bulletin for June released by the central bank revealed public-sector enterprises’ (PSEs) debt surged to Rs1 trillion by end of third quarter of FY18.

The previous PML-N government was unable to address the rising debts of PSEs and was unable to resolve problems of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) which have been saddled with huge loans, reported Dawn.

According to State Bank of Pakistan’s statistical bulletin for June, total debt and liabilities till the end of March FY 2017-18 were recorded at 3.5 percent of GDP or Rs996.4 billion.

Data from the central bank reveals PSEs debt and liabilities rose one percentage in 15 months starting December 2016 till March 2018, when it was 2.5 percent.

The previous government efforts to reach a consensus in parliament over privatisation of loss-making PSE’s failed as the privatisation commission (PC) setup was unable to deliver a workable formula acceptable to other stakeholders of the PSEs.

The debts of these PSEs touched 2.9 percent by March 2018 compared to 2.4 percent in same month last year.

PIA debt remained the highest among PSEs ballooning to Rs148 billion by March 2018. The state-owned airline still requires billions of rupees for meeting its expenditures and to procure new aeroplanes on a lease.

PSM’s debt touched Rs43.2 billion and has remained dormant since the last two years.

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) was the second largest borrower among PSEs, with its debt reaching Rs124.2 billion.

Leaving these big PSE’s aside, borrowing for other public-sector entities grew to Rs677 billion compared to Rs523 billion in March.

The previous PML-N led government failed in privatizing large and medium-sized PSEs during the last five years.