ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan’s overall debt would surge to Rs45.573 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2024 due to continuous borrowing from external as well internal sources.

The ministry of finance has informed the National Assembly standing committee on finance and revenue that Pakistan’s overall debt was recorded at Rs31.19 trillion during the fiscal year 2019, which is 80.4 percent of the GDP.

The committee was informed that debt would continue to rise in next few years, as the government would borrow from both external and internal sources. The overall debt would increase to Rs45.573 trillion by fiscal year 2024.

The meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of the National Assembly was held under the chairmanship of Asad Umar, MNA.

The meeting has expressed displeasure over the absence of Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

Members of the committee said that Adviser is not giving importance to the parliamentary committee. Nafeesa Shah, committee member, said that chairman of committee should issue production order of the Adviser to attend the meeting.

Briefing was given by State Bank of Pakistan on the Eradication of Riba Bill, 2019. The Committee was informed that seven years plan on Islamic Banking was underway and that a comprehensive framework would be brought within two months.

The chairman of Committee directed to pace-up the work on said Bill and decided to appoint a Sub-Committee under the convernship of Raza Nasrullah, MNA.

Mover of the bill Maulana Akbar Chitrali said that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is delaying the approval of bill.

He said that SBP has sought further two months time to review the bill, as it had already taken three months in this regard.

Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Convener of the Sub-Committee, presented the report of Sub-Committee on ToRs “to recommend measures for controlling inflation”.

The Committee decided that said report will be placed in the agenda of the upcoming meeting for deliberations.

The Committee discussed the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Bill, 2019 moved by Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, MNA and directed the Ministry of Finance to furnish the detailed comments in that regard.

The Committee also recommended that a request will be sent to Ministry of Interior for their views regarding enforceability of the said Bill in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The Committee discussed “The Pakistan Coinage (Amendment) Bill, 2019” and expressed its concern on the reasons and objectives provided by the Finance Division.

The Committee recommended that Ministry of Commerce may be asked to give their input with regard to the GSP plus implications if any, furthermore the Committee recommended that State Bank of Pakistan may be requested for their remarks in that regard.

The Committee directed the Finance Division to provide the details of the summary dated 26-12-2013 sent to the Cabinet regarding Essential Service Act, 1952.

The Committee deferred the Small Business Finance Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 due to the absence of mover. The Committee considered the Bank (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Loans for Agricultural Commercial & Industrial Purposes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and recommended that both Bills may be passed by the National Assembly.

The Committee deferred the Controller General of Accounts (Appointment, Functions and Powers) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, due to absence of Hon. Mover.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Raza Nasrullah, Faiz Ullah, Faheem Khan, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Ms. Nafisa Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, besides the senior officers of Ministry of Finance, SBP, ZTBL and Ministry of Law & Justice.