Circular debt soars to Rs1.3tr, minister tells NA


–Power minister says country’s debt has reached Rs29k billion in last five years

ISLAMABADMinister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan on Friday said that the circular debt has soared to Rs 1.3 trillion due to poor governance practices of the previous government as it did not pay heed to improve power transmission systems, control massive line losses, and construct new and efficient grid stations.

Speaking in the National Assembly (NA), he said the previous government failed to improve transmission lines as the current capacity of power dispatch system is not more than 1950mw of power.

He said the previous government had left the economy in a precarious condition due to delayed tariff determination and failure to introduce reforms. The country’s debt had reached Rs 29 trillion in the last five years from Rs 15 trillion, he added.

“Indeed, they had fixed a time bomb for the PTI government to be detonated immediately after taking over,” he said, adding that the PML-N government had preferred personal over national interests.

Meanwhile, participating in the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Aliya Kamran of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) criticised the government for increasing the prices of daily use items. She urged the government to provide an enabling environment to investors.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA Naz Baloch criticised the government’s decision to lease out the building of Radio Pakistan. PPP always established important institutions, including that of Pakistan Steel Mills, and gave the country a unanimous constitution, she added.

MMA’s Abdul Akbar Chitrali said the supplementary budget has already pushed up the prices of essential commodities.

PTI’s Asma Qadeer said that Finance Minister Asad Umer has presented a practical budget keeping in view the economic situation of the country.

PML-N’s Rana Tanveer Hussain said the PTI government had promised to give jobs to the youth.

He said the opposition wanted the PTI government to complete its five years’ constitution term. He further added that the opposition parties would extend full cooperation to the government in their good work.