Over the past two decades, Pakistan’s gross public debt has outpaced its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, with a notable surge in recent years. In the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), the country’s gross public debt has soared to Rs. 62.9 trillion, equivalent to 74.3 percent of the GDP.

This represents a significant increase compared to the debt of Rs. 3.7 trillion, accounting for 56.1 percent of GDP, back in FY03. This escalating debt burden has seen a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2 percent over the last 20 years.

During this period, Pakistan’s domestic debt has exhibited a CAGR of 16.3 percent, reaching Rs. 38.8 trillion, while external debt has risen at a CAGR of 13.8 percent. The overall size of Pakistan’s economy has expanded to Rs. 84.7 trillion in FY23, marking substantial growth from Rs. 6.6 trillion two decades ago, with a CAGR of 13.6 percent over this period.

Remarkably, out of the total debt increase of Rs. 59.2 trillion over the past two decades, a substantial Rs. 37.9 trillion upsurge has occurred in just the last five years, underscoring the recent acceleration in Pakistan’s debt accumulation.

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