Govt borrows Rs41b per day on average during one year in office

Domestic borrowing went up by Rs7.635tr since April 2022

The debt stock of the federal government has increased by 34% (Rs14.894 trillion) to Rs 58.6 trillion during the one year tenure of the Premier Shehbaz Sharif government.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) monthly bulletin, the total debt stock of the Federal government surged by Rs 14.89 trillion to Rs 58.599 trillion including Rs 36.55 trillion of local and Rs 22.050 trillion of foreign debt during the PM Shahbaz Sharif led Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) regime from April 2022 to April 2023.

The unprecedented growth in government debt means that the incumbent government borrowed an average of Rs 41 billion per day in the last one year to run the government affairs.

The data shows that the domestic borrowing went up by Rs 7.635 trillion to Rs 36.549 trillion during the last one year as the government raised Rs 6.007 trillion through issuing of govt bonds during the last year. It is important to note that Pakistan’s total revenue target for the FY23 was budgeted at a mere 7.6 trillion.

he debt of government bonds increased from Rs 18.984 trillion to Rs 24.992 trillion during the period.

The SBP’s on-lending to GoP against SDRs allocation was maintained at Rs 475 billion during the one year.

Unfunded debt including the financial obligations of the National Savings certificates, GP fund and Postal Life Insurance reached to Rs 2.962 trillion, from Rs 3.456 trillion mainly due to retirement of debt during the year.

The short term debt of the government also increased from Rs 5.578 trillion to Rs 7.215 trillion during the year. The government raised Rs 1.624 trillion by issuing Market Treasury Bills during the period. The financial obligations swelled from Rs 5.526 trillion to Rs 7.150 trillion in April 2023 consequently.

The external debt increased by almost 50 % or Rs 7.258 trillion from Rs 14.791 trillion to Rs 22.050 trillion. Even though Pakistan did not secure huge external loans, this happened mainly due to freefall of local currency against the USD during the period.

According to the calculation of the SBP, the Pak Rupee has depreciated by Rs 98 against USD during this one year. The USD has appreciated against PKR from Rs185 to Rs283, since April 2022.

Even though the actual amount of external debt was decreased by $2.0 billion, from $79.65 billion to $77.68 billion, the rupee value of the debt soared by 50%.

The government also raised Rs 103 billion through Naya Pakistan Certificates this year, the total obligation of which jumped to Rs 138 billion from Rs 35 billion during the one year.

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Shahzad Paracha
Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


  1. I don’t agree with this number per day average author includes external debt number which is increased by rupee depreciation not taking loans. In his calculation, external debt increased by Rs 7.2 trillion which is almost a 52.85% increase from April 2022 while PKR currency depreciate by 49.02% in the same period. If the author excludes this number per day average will be Rs20.9 trillion


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