Public debt to remain 83pc of GDP in FY20

ISLAMABAD: The country’s public debt will remain 83 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the current fiscal year (2019-20), much higher than the 60 per cent limit set under the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act, 2005.

Sources said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has acknowledged in the medium-term macroeconomic framework that the country’s public debt to GDP will remain 83pc during FY20.

The public debt in FY20 is lower than that of FY19 (85pc of the GDP).

The ministry has projected that the public debt will decrease in coming years, as it would likely remain 81pc of GDP in 2020-21, 79pc in 2021-22 and 77pc in 2022-23.

Sources said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s tax collection had been projected at 10.8pc of GDP or Rs5,179 billion in the current fiscal year; 12.5pc of GDP or Rs6,191 billion in 2020-21; 13.1pc in 2021-22; and 13.6pc in fiscal year 2022-23.

The ministry wanted to reduce the budget deficit to 3pc (Rs1,819 billion) by 2022-23 from projected 7.1pc (Rs3,146 billion) for the current fiscal year, they added.

In addition, the ministry also projected to bring down the inflation from 11.7pc in the ongoing year to 5.3pc in 2022-23, sources maintained.

They said the economic growth would surge from 2.6pc in FY20 to 5.1pc till FY23, as per the projections of the PTI government’s economic team.

Sources said the federal cabinet was also informed on Tuesday that the sectoral spending priorities are food security, agriculture (locust control), health security (the coronavirus), higher education, sustainable development goals, tourism development, harmonisation of pay and allowances, defence and public security, ‘Ehsaas’ and social safety net, and public sector development programme.


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