Debt trap

Looking back while going ahead

9

The government of the day is so focused on what happened in the past 10 years that it is oblivious of what its own actions are. At times it lies through its teeth about the how the state of affairs is. Take for example, the debt situation.

According to the State bank of Pakistan, the federal government has added Rs7.6 trillion to public debt in the last 11 months, which was equal to 71 per cent of the total debt that the PML-N government had taken in its five-year term.

The addition to public debt in one year alone was also more than the total public debt that the Pakistan Peoples Party government added in five- year tenure.  For the record, the PPP had added Rs6 trillion to the debt.

A national daily termed the increase in the public debt in FY19 the highest in country’s entire history.

While the government says it had to go for such huge amounts of debts merely to pay up for the past debts, it was short on tax collection, its expenditures were beyond means despite austerity drive. Depreciation of the currency, debt servicing and defence expenditure were other major reasons that it had to look towards others.

PM Imran has been critical of the economic policies followed by the PPP and PML-N governments and has set up a debt inquiry commission to investigate the reasons behind the addition of Rs24 trillion to the debt in 10 years. He has chosen to ignore what the Musharraf government did during its 9-year rule.

The NAB, in a similar vein, has decided go after those who have ruled for 30 years and for now is looking the other way as for as the incumbents are concerned. God knows where this selective watch will lead the country.