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PTI govt borrows 86pc more in 1HFY19 for budgetary support

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has borrowed 86 per cent more for financing budget deficit in the first half of the current fiscal year as compared to the borrowing in the same period of last year.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data revealed that the federal government borrowed Rs722 billion during the six months (July-Dec 28), compared to Rs387.7bn in the same period last year, which show a whopping increase of Rs334.3bn.

The excessive borrowing for budgetary support in the face of low revenue collection is set to breach the 5.1 per cent budget deficit cap set for FY19.

The rising fiscal deficit has concerned the government as it is going for talks with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. The Fund traditionally put caps for budgetary deficit levels.

FBR failure to achieve revenue collection targets has forced the government to borrow more to finance expenditures. In 5MFY19, revenue shortfall was reported as Rs112bn, which the Federal Board of Revenue attributed mainly to slashing of sales tax on petroleum products and withdrawal of tax on mobile phone cards.

According to the data, the government has borrowed Rs1.436 trillion from SBP during the first half of this fiscal year, compared to Rs288bn in the same period last year.

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