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Budget deficit hits six-year high, says QWP leader

February 27, 2019

Bu our correspondent

PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader and former senior minister Sikandar Sherpao on Tuesday criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for its flawed economic policies, saying that budget deficit had hit a six-year high.

According to a press release issued from Watan Kor here, he was talking to a delegation of the QWP workers from the Buner district. Sikandar Sherpao said the budget deficit had reached Rs1.03 trillion in the first half of the current fiscal year due to a double-digit growth in debt spending and negligible improvement in revenues.

"It is the highest budget deficit for the first half in the past six fiscal years," he added. He said the budget deficit widened despite the fact that the four provinces showed a cash surplus of Rs247 billion in the first six months.

The QWP leader said the budget deficit and the current account deficit remained the two biggest challenges for the economy. "The PTI government has been unable to boost the revenues and contain expenditures. He said the key reason behind the record budget deficit was higher spending on the debt.'

Sikandar Sherpao said the currency devaluation and increase in interest rate by the central bank negatively impacted domestic and foreign debt servicing costs. "This is a quite alarming trend that the country will slip further into the debt trap which shows the economic managers of the PTI government are incompetent," he added.