ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s budget deficit would surge to 8 percent of the GDP during outgoing financial year after adding circular debt amount into it, said Saleem Mandviwalla, former finance minister.

“The government is giving false statements regarding budget deficit figures, said Saleem Mandviwalla, who is also chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue. The government has excluded the circular debt amount from the tentative budget deficit’s figures, according to which, deficit would remain 4.3 percent of the GDP, he added.

He said that government has failed to resolve the circular debt issue on permanent basis, as it once again has reached Rs350 billion, adding that the government had cleared it after coming into power in June 2013. He further said that fiscal deficit was around 7 percent of the GDP during the tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which is now around 8 percent of the GDP.

Former finance minister alleged that ministry of finance is involved in figures fudging. The ministry of finance should release budget deficit figures by adding circular debt amount, he remarked.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is claiming to bring down the budget deficit to Rs1328 billion (4.3 percent of the GDP) by the end of current financial year. Pakistan’s budget deficit has been recorded at Rs1009.4 billion (3.4 percent of the GDP) during first nine months (July-March) of the ongoing financial year 2015-2016. The country’s expenditures went up to Rs3971.3 billion as against the revenues of Rs2961.9 billion.

The government has agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fix the budget deficit target at 3.8 percent of the GDP for the next financial year 2016-2017, as against 4.3 percent of the GDP of the outgoing fiscal year.