National debt of Pakistan

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The national debt of Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان کا قومی قرض‎), or simply Pakistani debt, is the total debt, or unpaid borrowed funds, carried by the Government of Pakistan, which is measured as the face value of the currently outstanding treasury bills (T-bills) that have been issued by the federal government. The terms 'budget deficit' and 'national surplus' usually refer to the federal government budget balance from year to year, not the cumulative amount of debt. A deficit year increases the debt, while a surplus year decreases the debt as more money is received than spent.


In 2008, when Pakistan Peoples Party came to power, Pakistan's debt was ₨ 6,435 billion which increased by 135% in five years, and became ₨ 15,096 billion in 2013.[1] Majority of this increase in debt was in domestic debt, whereas, external debt of Pakistan only increased by 22 percent in that period, from US$42.8 billion in 2008 to US$52.4 billion in 2013.[1] This was due to the lack of liquidity in the international bond market because of 2007–2008 global financial crisis. So, PPP government has to depend on the domestic lending to meet needs of the government expenditures.[1] During that period, external debt as a percentage of GDP decreased from 29.5 percent to 23.4 percent.[1]

After 2013 Pakistani general election, Nawaz Sharif came to power and his government got loan from the International Monetary Fund. During their rule of five years, Pakistan's external debt increased from US$52.4 billion to US$76.3 billion, an increase of 46 percent, mainly due to sukuk bonds and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.[1]

Current debt[edit]

As of March 2019, public debt of Pakistan is estimated to be about ₨ 35.094 trillion which is 91.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) of Pakistan.[2] About ₨ 18.17 trillion is owed by the government to domestic creditors, and about ₨ 1.378 trillion is owed by Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs).[2]

Similarly, as of March 2019, external debt of Pakistan is now around US$105 billion.[2] Pakistan owes US$11.3 billion to Paris Club, US$27 billion to multilateral donors, US$5.765 billion to International Monetary Fund, and US$12 billion to international bonds such as Eurobond, and sukuk.[2] About fifth of the external debt which is estimated around US$19 billion is owed to China due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Younus, Uzair (October 30, 2018). "Pakistan's debt policy has brought us to the brink. Another five years of the same is unsustainable". DAWN.COM.
  2. ^ a b c d "Pakistan's total debt, liabilities rise to Rs35tr". May 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "Is Pakistan falling into China's debt trap?".