This is apropos a Business Recorder news item “Budgetary support during Jul 1-Dec 16, 2023 period: Govt borrowing jumps 200pc to Rs2.876trn YoY” carried by the newspaper yesterday.

According to the news item, “the cumulative borrowing by the federal and provincial governments for budgetary support from the domestic banking system rose by 200 percent during this fiscal year (FY24) so far.”

The news report quoting State Bank of Pakistan has added that “the federal and provincial governments cumulatively borrowed Rs 2.876 trillion during July 1, to Dec 16, 2023 from the domestic banking system against Rs 961 billion in the same period of last fiscal year (FY23), depicting an increase of Rs 1.915 trillion. The entire amount was borrowed from the SBP and scheduled banks to finance the fiscal deficit.

The major borrowing was made by the cash-strapped federal government for budgetary support”. Though credible, these statistics appear unbelievable mainly because of the fact that this cardinal sin has been committed by our federal and provincial governments alike when the country was and still is in the throes of an economic crisis.

Ironically, this overt reckless extravagance has taken place under the caretaker setup ahead of the general elections. That the fact there is no conceivable justification for such fiscal profligacy cannot be overemphasized.

In other words, the profligacy of the caretakers has shocked the entire nation. In my view, the parliament that emerges from the results of the upcoming general election must hold all those in power in the country to account for contributing to country’s economic woes on such a huge scale.

Needless to say, the caretakers have clearly exceeded their limits in such an horrendous manner.

Abu Adnan, (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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