Efforts under way to bring down debt to GDP ratio


Staff Reporter

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was informed Friday that government was taking all possible measures to bring down the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio by promoting economic growth and cutting fiscal deficit.
The committee, which met under the chairmanship of Asad Umer, was informed that currently the debt to GDP ratio stands in the range of 80-85 percent.
It was informed that measures including achieving higher GDP growth, lowering the fiscal deficit and promoting greater economic stability by avoiding excessive volatility in inflation, interest and exchange rates, were in place to redress these issues.
The committee thoroughly discussed in detail the debt management and its planning for next five years.
It was briefed by the Director General Debt Management, Ministry of Finance Abdul Rahman Warriach on the sate of domestic and international debts as well as their repayment schedules and strategy to reduce the dependency on loans.
The DG informed that considering the economy’s exposure to various sources of economic and fiscal risks, debt-to-GDP ratio of 50% was considered sustainable for the country over the long run.
Apprising the meeting about the debt management plan for the fiscal years from 2020-24, he said that government under its medium term debt strategy (MTDS), was planing to bring down the domestic short term maturity loans to 20%, which currently stands at 27%.
He said that under the long term targets, dependency on short term loans would be further reduced to 15%, where as the long term loans portion to be increased up to 50% from currently 44%. He apprised the meeting that average time to maturity of domestic debt consisted on 4-5 years, external debt 8 years and average time to maturity of public debt was 5-6 years.
The domestic debt which was 66% of the total public debt in fiscal year 2019 would be brought down to 59% under medium term debt strategy, where as external debt portion would be raised from 34% to 41%, he added.