Islamabad, August 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Sunday expressed serious concern over escalating power sector circular debt which has crossed mark of Rs684 billion for the very first time in the history of Pakistan. During 2012 the PPP government blamed high oil prices for the circular debt which were around 109 dollars per barrel while in 2013 the PML-N led government paid Rs480 billion to claim that the circular debt has been buried forever, it said.
However, both the claims proved false as circular debt has resurfaced despite the oil prices hovering around 45 dollars per barrel, said Tabassum Anwar, Chairperson of IWCCI Standing Committee on Trade and Industry. She said that the debt despite low oil prices is result of mismanagement which has become a threat to local and foreign investment in the power sector which has compromised GDP growth.
Tabassum Anwar also expressed concern over falling remittances which has registered a fall of twenty percent in the month of July. She said that remittances from Saudi Arabia may fall by two billion dollars, from six billion dollars to four billion dollars as hundreds of thousands of Pakistani workers working there have been fired.
Remittances from UK has been reduced by 38 percent due to Brexit while the remittances from USA have also registered fall of 34 percent but policymakers are not concerned about it, she added. Pakistani exports stood at 2.1 billion dollars in July 2013 which are now down to 1.5 billion dollars, foreign investment was 4.4 billion dollars at that time which is now 959 million dollars, a fall of 77 percent contradicting tall claims of the policymakers, she informed.
She said that country liabilities stood at 19.8 trillion rupees in 2015 which are now above 22.4 trillion rupees meaning thereby that 26 billion dollars have been added to repayment mechanism which will be a problem for the government.
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Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI)