Budget deficit is expected to climb to 6-7 percent of gross domestic product in the fiscal year 2010/2011 as a result of floods, the prime minister said on Wednesday. "The budget deficit before the flood crisis was estimated to reach 4.5 percent of GDP. Now it is estimated to be as much as 6-7 percent of the GDP," Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told the cabinet. Gilani said the disaster would hit the economy hard. "The floods have inflicted damage to the economy which may by some estimates reach $43 billion, while affecting 30 percent of all agricultural land," he said. Budget deficit for the fiscal year 2009/10 (July-June) was 6.3 percent of GDP, the Finance Ministry said on its website on Tuesday. This compared with a deficit of 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2008/09. The monsoon floods have affected an estimated 18 million people, ravaged an area larger than England and destroyed over 3.4 million hectares of crops. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, which was fragile before the floods hit over a month ago.