The government has asked to establish a Debt Audit Commission to assess the debts acquired by Pakistan in the last 60 years in line with the recommendation of the National Assembly’s speaker’s Special Committee on Debt 2012.

These views were expressed in a journalist training organised by Islamic Relief Pakistan under the slogan “Debt & its Developmental impacts on State & Society”.

Opening the training, Advocacy & Campaigns Specialist Sarmad Iqbal said that Islamic Relief Pakistan has initiated a campaign “Unlocking the Chains of Debt” to raise awareness and generate debate amongst the common people, media, parliamentarians, policymakers and other stakeholders about the consequences of increase in public debt on economic freedom; and development to arrive at suggestions that will improve our management of national debt. Presenting the research at the training Abdul Khaliq said that rising level of public debt has become a major threat to the economic stability and development.  Abdul Khaliq quoting data from Economic Affairs Division said that our external debt stands at $65 billion. He opined that debt is a useful instrument to promote investment for growth and development, if project loans are acquired generating economic activity. He further added that the investment is tangibly measured against the return at least more than the cost of borrowing. He pointed out poor debt management and technical inefficiencies as factors for escalating public debt.

The participants of the day jointly agreed that establishment of Debt Audit Commission is the need of the hour and acquisition of loans should be made a parliamentary debate.