People committing suicide over domestic issues, not poverty: minister


People in Pakistan are committing suicide due to domestic disputes, and not because of financial miseries, Federal Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin told the National Assembly on Friday.
The minister’s hypothesis came in response to a question that suicide cases in the country were increasing due to high poverty levels and that the government should curb inflation to control the trend. He said poverty was not a factor behind suicide attempts, as domestic disputes had caused several suicides in recent months. He said the government had already introduced austerity measures and the annual fiscal deficit would be brought down to a single-digit number next year.
Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, in a written reply to a question posed by Tahira Aurangzeb, said the total international assistance to Pakistan for flood victims this year amounted to $198.28 million. He said Pakistan’s total debt, both domestic and foreign, since March 2008 to August 2011 was Rs 4,384.49 billion, whereas domestic currency loans were Rs 3,083.43 billion, and foreign currency loans were Rs 1,301.06 billion, while US currency loans were US$ 14.9 billion.
In another written reply, Sheikh said the domestic debt in March 2008 was Rs 3,020.19 billion, permanent debt Rs 615.77 billion, floating debt Rs 1,407.24 billion, unfunded debt Rs 997.18 billion, foreign debt Rs 2,779.71 billion and foreign US dollar debt $40.7.
In August 2011, according to the minister, the domestic debt soared to Rs 6,103.62 billion, permanent debt Rs 1,155.07 billion, floating debt Rs 3,262.18 billion, unfunded debt 1,686.37 billion, foreign debt Rs 4,786.42 billion and foreign USD debt $54.7 billion.
Giving debt servicing of foreign loans during the last three years, the minister told the house that principal amount in 2008-09 was $2,566 million, interest was $873 million and the total amount was $3,439 million. Principal amount in 2009-10 was $2,339 million, interest was $871 million and the total amount was $3,120 million and during 2011-12 the principal amount is $3,232 million, interest is $892 million and the total amount is $4, 124 million, Sheikh said.