Debt sustainability is a state of affairs in which a borrower is expected to be able to go on serving its debt without an unrealistically big rectification to the balance of income and outgo ( IMF ) . In recent old ages Pakistan has suffered big debt load in the signifier of Public Debt which arose due to turning budget shortages. Public debt has two constituents – domestic debt and external debt. Public debts helps in mending authorities funding spreads, helps in economic growing and to run into states societal and development aims. External adoption, in peculiar supports in increasing production capacity and to elate economic growing. However if public debt is non decently utilised so it consequences in serious jobs which in the instance of Pakistan has been observed over the decennaries. Public debt is one of the firing issues in Pakistan which has been highlighted about at every forum in recent old ages. The inefficient use and direction of public debt has led to macro economic instabilities. In recent old ages at that place have been cutbacks in outgos on societal development, economic substructure, subsidies etc. There are concerns that Pakistan has been caught id debt trap and in a barbarous circle. A high debt load means high degree of involvement payments which consequences in monolithic budget shortages which once more has to be financed by correspondingly through big adoptions which adds to the debt.. This all consequences in macro instabilities which shakes the private investors assurance which reduces investings taking to cut down exports and the terminal consequence is balance of payments jobs. The debt load chiefly arises because of inauspicious footings of trade, weather conditions non suited for hard currency harvests, corruptness in authorities sections, and wastage of resources due to policy lacks, weak establishments, hapless debt direction and adoption at unfavourable footings. Rising debts load besides amendss states repute and dependability universe over. This mainly consequences in countenances by UN, IMF, World Bank which forces a state to insulate and finally leads to fiscal crises and debt defaulting. This state of affairs can go true for Pakistan if the current policy model and uninterrupted errors are repeated once more and once more.
Causes of Debt Burden in Historical Context
The debt load job of Pakistan is nil new. Their bases were laid long ago in the decennaries of 1960 ‘s. The phenomenon of negative value added in industry was an of import ground, why during the 1960 ‘s in malice of import permutations, duty protection, deficiency of competition, subsidies and overvalued exchange rate and big export volumes foreign exchange deficits persisted. The narrow export base led the job of debt load which remains till today. Most of the export net incomes went in the custodies of elites who failed to make nest eggs of that net income for farther re-investment which led to necessitate of foreign assistance. Aid influxs increased from US $ 373 million in 1950-55 for US $ 2701 million in 1965-70. These AIDSs were given on higher involvement rate which farther intensified debt load job. Debt service as a per centum of foreign net incomes was 4.2 per centum in 1960-61 which increased to 34.5 per centum by 1971-72 and this tendency continued for following three decennaries. In the decennary of 1970 ‘s nationalisation shook the assurance of investors. Gross investing as a per centum of GDP in private sector fell from 8.21 per centum to 4.79 per centum. Narrow revenue enhancement base, higher defence and authorities disposal expenditures which grew from 2.7 per centum in 1965 to 6.7 per centum of GDP in 1974-75 in the instance of defence and for authorities expenditures it increased from 1.1 per centum to 1.8 per centum of GDP in the same period led to higher budget shortages and low economic growing led to increase in debt load. However, in start of Zia-ul-Haq period immense support from West and remittals received from the Middle East which increased from US $ 0.5 billion in 1978 to US $ 3.2 billion in 1984. Such support reduced current history jobs ensuing in decrease in debt load. However, support of foreign loans and debt alleviation was withdrawn at the terminal of the Afghan war. Afterwards GDP growing declined due to debt service force per unit area because of low salvaging rate. Debt load grew six crease in Zia period. In historical context these are the factors responsible for puting a strong base for demand of domestic and external debts which subsequently besides resulted in high debt accretion.
With mention to Public and External debt sustainability in Pakistan Mehmood, Rauf and Ahmed ( 2009 ) research covering period from 1970 ‘s boulder clay 2000 ‘s pointed out sing public debt sustainability that debt / GDP ratio was ne’er fulfilled. The cardinal variable is the relentless financial shortage which reminded cardinal for public debt sustainability. While the function of involvement rate remained less important. For external debt sustainability current history instabilities has been the nucleus underlying variable in the external debt sustainability issue. Currency devaluation merely increased the monetary values of imported inputs and added to the rupee value of foreign debt. The worsened twin shortages and GDP growing rise in involvement rates, fluctuations in exchange rate after 2005 are of import determiners of debt instability.
Harmonizing to Pasha & A ; Ghaus ( 1995 ) on sustainability of Public debt in Pakistan they argued that rise in external debt / GDP ratio is because of the addition in non-interest sum shortages and capital losingss on external debt due to existent exchange ratio. However, for domestic debt big primary budget shortages is one of import ground which was pumped up by the big derived functions between existent external domestic involvement rate and the existent growing rate of the economic system. The suggested to maintain public debt to income ratio invariable, maintain primary budget shortage at a degree which ensures some stagnation or a diminution and besides to maintain a cheque on exchange rate policy.
Pakistan ‘s debt policy statement ( 2009-10 ) , by Ministry of Finance of debt sustainability argues that recent old ages public debt has increased because of outgo done on security and war on panic, low GDP growing rate than expected, extreme energy deficits, high involvement rates increasing the cost of making concern and planetary crises resulted in low export gross taking to high current history shortage. The important depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar caused the foreign currency constituent to increase by Rs.91 Billion about 18.4 % of the entire addition in entire public debt, low gross aggregation in existent footings was non satisfactory which is another index of public debt load. In recent old ages debt load has increased after financess taken from IMF at the same clip weakened economic growing and foreign exchange net incomes has increased the debt load. To back up BoP and economic stabilisation has been the major factor behind the addition in Pakistan external debt and liabilities. For external debt the oil monetary value daze of 2007-08 and decrease in goods demand because of planetary crises has put burden on external debt. Exports of 7.8 % from FY 2006-09 while imports of 15.5 % yearly during the same period. This spread has resulted in immense shortages on external histories and has put external debt load.
With mention to impact of trade liberalisation on external debt load by Zafar, Sabahat, Butt and Sobihuddin ( 2008 ) , they covered the period from 1972 boulder clay 2007 onwards. The applied AROL theoretical account of co-integration and mistake rectification patterning ECM 2000 onwards, their arrested development analysis showed with mention to long term relation between debt load and trade liberalisation that export to GDP ratio has a important positive impact on debt load significance that Pakistan is chiefly exporting primary merchandises and these merchandises monetary values have decreased over the decennaries and same is true in short tally. Import to GDP ratio is important but has a negative coefficient which means that imports of capital intensive merchandises from which goods are produced locally subsequently assist in higher returns help in cut downing debt load, and same is true in short tally every bit good. Exchange rate in long tally has n affect on debt load it besides has a negative mark intending healthy exchange rate would cut down the external debt through improved grosss earned from exports. Finally term of trade is besides a important variable at 10 % degree associated, with debt load. The suggested to do better quality export, value added exports, better baby industries and give fundss to little industries. This all will assist in coming out of debt load.
Harmonizing to Gul and Adnan ( 2008 ) , sing public debt dazes and aftershocks their research covered the clip period from 1981 to 2008, they argued that diminution in many economic variables and some societal indexs is the chief ground for rise in public debt. The current history and financial shortages are the major grounds for rise in public debt. Government financing it back and at the same clip disregarding other of import sectors necessary for development farther increased public debt. Outgos and gross spread increased which has further increased debt load. This has led balance of payments job, high rising prices, low economic growing, higher unemployment, lifting poorness investing herding out etc. They besides argued that current debt load state of affairs is due to inefficiency of the station authoritiess. They suggested take downing twin shortage, increasing gross, and restricting outgos. Harmonizing to them public debt and involvement disbursal as a per centum of GDP went up from 48.16 and 2.12 to 61.80 and 5.71 from 1980-81 to 2007-08.
Harmonizing to Jafri ( 2008 ) , to prolong external debt stock in bounds more foreign direct investing is needed and improved exchange rates. Trade shortage once more is another of import index for debt sustainability, which can be controlled through effectual demand direction policies. Export growing is needed to be improved to command external debt to GDP ratio in the average term. Real GDP growing rate, non involvement current history shortage to GDP ratio, exchange rate and the ratio of non debt making capital flows to GDP, these ratios control and monitoring is of import for external debt sustainability. They farther suggested commanding these ratios otherwise external debt to GDP ratio will traverse debt threshold in the average term.
Harmonizing to Afzal ( 2002 ) , in 2002 Pakistan external debt in the Net Present value footings was 334 per centum of exports of goods and services and it was 59 per centum of GDP. He argued for decrease in involvement rate by givers to convey debt sustainability. He believed that for debt sustainability macroeconomic policies must be right peculiarly with respect to financial consolidation. He suggested besides seting emphasis on public investing and restricting non development outgo which helps in debt sustainability in long term.
Harmonizing to World Bank Report ( 2007 ) , cardinal indexs for rise in public debt load which went up to 625 per centum from 515 per centum of authorities grosss from 1998 to 1999 are negative authorities nest eggs which are 3.2 per centum of GDP. Government non development outgo has risen aggressively because of lifting involvement rates, at the same clip for gross has declined. Fiscal shortage from 1997 to 2002 was closed to seven per centum of GDP. Public debt load besides went up because of growing in existent grosss was negative. However, external debt job arose because of current history balance of payments shortage. During 1990-1999 entire shortage was of US $ 25 Billion on norm of 4.8 per centum of GDP. In the first half of the 1990 ‘s exports and remittal growing slowed down well in the first half of the 1990 ‘s. Report farther highlighted the effects of high debt load, high debt load has led to low economic growing of land by 5 per centum in late 1990 ‘s which has farther led to poverty. High debt load has besides led to debt service job. Another of import index for high debt load has been the lifting existent cost of authorities borrowing both domestic and foreign. This study farther highlighted the fact that in Pakistan no proper debt direction system exists. Dr. Hafeez Pasha policies were non carried out decently. Sing jobs with institutional agreements study highlighted that in Pakistan there is no financial eventuality direction system, proper and timely economic informations is non available ad hoc determinations are taken and there are no clearly defined authorities policies. Report suggested for ceiling on the magnitude of nest eggs that could be used to finance budget shortage.
Harmonizing to Khan ( 2004 ) , Pakistan ‘s public debt load has been reduced well in 2000/01, cardinal grounds for it are decrease in the authorities shortage, debt rescheduling, less vulnerable to external dazes nevertheless he believes that debt indexs are still high while he suggested bettering financial accommodation and there is demand for strong economic growing.
Harmonizing to H. Khan ( 2003 ) , cardinal indexs for heavy debt load are duplicate shortage current and financial history 5 per centum of GDP ( 1990 ‘s ) and 7 per centum of GDP for about two decennaries. He suggested encouraging private sector development, raising investing growing, transparence and reforms to better administration.
With mention to debt sustainability in low income states International Monetary Fund Report ( 2008 ) suggests that in low income states debt job peaked in early 1990 ‘s. Pakistan external debt service to exports and to gross was 26.8 and 37.6 per centum. Debt load increas3d as new debt and grants were non used to alleviate the overall debt load. Report stated grounds for rise in different debt ratios which were inauspicious footings of trade or conditions, hapless administration, incorrect policies, weak establishments, less publicity of exports and political factors. If some states debt load reduces was because of debt rescheduling and because of low involvement rates. For debt sustainability for low income states report emphasized on productive investing which helps in export gross coevals to refund foreign creditors. Good establishments and better more economic policies are besides of import for debt sustainability. IMF study highlighted factor which build restraints in bring forthing resources for debt service. Poor revenue enhancement construction, inability to utilize local resources in transforming in export for foreign exchange limitation of foreign assistance for usage of debt services and political jobs. Report farther suggested to convey efficiency in investing, beef uping a state ‘s refund capacity, bring forth domestic nest eggs through more efficient gross mobilisation, outgo prioritization, this would assist in pulling FDI, better domestic policies, a prudent adoption scheme and support from abroad. All these factors can assist low income states in conveying debt sustainability.
Harmonizing to International Monetary Fund Report ( 2006 ) sing restructuring of autonomous debt and reconstructing debt sustainability stated that in footings of decomposition of debt Pakistan had a low portion slightly below 85 per centum. Pakistan ‘s debt service payments increased faster than exports gaining debt service as a portion of exports grosss rose from 26 per centum in 1992 to 34 per centum in 1998. Pakistan entered in liquidness crises after 1998 international countenances. Pakistan benefited from Paris nine rescheduling, supplying it with significant debt service alleviation. Report argued that Pakistan ‘s debt kineticss were better than anticipated at the clip of restructuring. Firmer exchange rates so implicit in fund projection helped in incorporating debt GDP ratio more rapidly than anticipated in the instance of Pakistan. Pakistan grade of exposure is in medium scope. Report besides stated that favourable liquidness indexs suggest that overall Pakistan debt exposures are lower, which is 67.9 per centum ( debt to GDP ) in 2004, However, in station restructuring period financial public presentation fell fringy short of the ambitious projections.
The debt job which occurred in 1990 ‘s was really inherited from Zia period. Democratic leaders hapless short term based policies, unwillingness to cut down financial shortage which remained 6.8percent of GDP on norm from 1991 to 1999, low GDP growing of 4.6percent in the same period, autumn in existent grosss, big current history shortages resulted in mass accretion of domestic debt which remain on mean 44percent of GDP from 1991 to 1999 while external debt remained on mean 44percent of GDP as good which is excessively high for any state and in the same period entire debt remained 88percent of GDP. When Pakistan entered in the new century it was declared as the lone state in South Asia to be classified as a badly indebted state by the World Bank. In start of new century there was some betterment in micro economic indexs which reduced the debt job because of moderate economic growing from old ages 2002-05 of around 6percent low financial debt of 3.4percent of GDP. However, this tendency did non last for long state once more faced serious immense shortages of financial and current history, big depreciation of exchange rate and low economic growing. For the period 2006-2009 on mean financial shortage was 5.17percent of GDP, currency devaluation/depreciation growing per twelvemonth of 7.71percent and low existent GDP growing of 4.37percent, current history shortage of 8.4 per centum of GDP, really low exports to GDP of 3.75percent, low investing to GDP of 21.5percent and indirect revenue enhancement to GDP of 6.5percent. These factors were the ground for the rise of external debt to GDP from 26percent to 29percent from 2007 and in the same period entire debt went up from 55percent to 60percent of GDP.
In decennary of 1990 ‘s and in 2000 ‘s investing to GDP ne’er went up to 25percent of GDP which is indispensable for any economic system for the period 1991 to 1999 overall investing to GDP rate was 18.8percent. There are many grounds for this low rate of investing to GDP. Fall in foreign capital influx, worsening domestic demand, investors dependency on foreign nest eggs, dependance on province backing, corruptness slowed down the gait of investing, corrupt had to be given which raised the cost of production which reduced investing, lesser recognition available for private investors as Bankss were forced to give loans to authorities functionaries which increased bank defaults. This increased the dealing cost which forced Bankss to increase involvement rates even for private investors, hapless authorities policies and hapless jurisprudence and order were the grounds for low investing to GDP. For new millenary ‘s first decennary investing to GDP for old ages 2000 to 2009 remained at 17.1 per centum. Oil dazes, currency devaluation, power deficits, corruptness as in 1990 ‘s decennary, terrorist act involvement rates contractionary financial and pecuniary policy from 2008 onwards and twosome of other factors which were besides seen in 1990 ‘s are the chief grounds for low investing rate in 2000 ‘s first decennary. The low investing rate led to decelerate economic growing which is one of the grounds for high public debt over the last two decennaries.
Pakistan ‘s exports from 1960 ‘s onwards were of natural merchandises. No value added goods were produced nor exported. In the decennaries of 1990 ‘s exports to GDP at current monetary values on norms stood at 15.8percent which shows the hapless public presentation of Pakistan ‘s exports. Why Pakistan has fallen behind in exports field there are several grounds foremost of all exports growing was ne’er given precedence. Export merchandises natural stuffs were imported on high import responsibilities. From 2000 to 2009 export to GDP were 14.7percent. Pakistan exports suffered because of hapless substructure low investing to GDP, inordinate attending to fabrics resulted in low degree of manufactured merchandises but besides in the construction of these exports. Oil dazes increased the cost of production which increased the export monetary values ensuing in fight in international market. 2008 fiscal crises led to low international demand of exports, power deficits, terrorist act and security concerns ; which are other major grounds for low exports to GDP at current monetary values, from 2006 to 2009. Overall low exports to GDP led to high current history shortage which forced to borrow increasing the external debt load. All the above mentioned grounds for low exports to GDP are besides responsible for high public debt load which in 1990 ‘s decennary on norm remained 553.88percent of exports and 462.87percent of export in first decennary of twenty-first century.
Budget shortages job is a really old job of Pakistan. High defence and disposal outgos, shortages burden farther increased because of the loss of public industries, low GDP growing, low exports to GDP growing inability to better revenue enhancement base. However, in 1990 ‘s corruptness in revenue enhancement aggregation amounted to 3percent of GDP. Consequently low gross, low GDP growing rates extremely degree of authorities current outgo increased the budget shortages. For the period 1991 to 1999 current history shortages on norm remained 3.58percent of GDP while financial shortage in the same period of GDP stood at 6.8percent. In the start of new decennary decrease in financial shortage started from 2000 to 2004, it continued to worsen from 5.4 to 2.3percent of GDP. This happened because of addition in gross to GDP ratio, addition in development outgo. However, financial shortages once more picked up on norm it remained to 5.17percent of GDP from 2006 to 2009. Extreme power deficits, low revenue enhancement gross public presentation, increased security disbursement are twosome of grounds for high financial shortages, while current history shortage at current monetary values was under control boulder clay 2005. But from 2006 to 2009 it averaged to 8.4 per centum of GDP. Current Account shortage raised such high because of high import measures and diminution in exports. The rise in duplicate shortages over last two decennaries is a major ground for rise in domestic and external debt.
Pakistan GDP growing rates have faced ups and downs throughout the history. In 1970 ‘s diminution in investing was the chief ground. In 1980 ‘s GDP growing improved but once more in 1990 ‘s GDP growing rates went down. From 1991 to 1999 existent GDP growing rates on norm were 4.46 per centum. Key grounds for low existent GDP growing rates were corruptness, investing and nest eggs fell, overall productiveness of capital besides declined fabricating growing declined, loan defaults increased as investors did non repaid their loans back, political instability throughout 1990 ‘s and jurisprudence and order state of affairs besides had serious negative consequence on the diminution existent GDP growing rates. However, from 2002 to 2005 mean existent GDP growing was 7.06 per centum. The big influx of foreign capital and expansionary, pecuniary, and financial policy are the cardinal grounds for such high growing rates in the above mentioned period. From 2006 to 2009 existent GDP growing once more declined to 4.37 per centum. Security state of affairs, diminution in investor ‘s assurance, loss of fight in manufactured exports because of rise in electricity monetary values and because of serious electricity deficits. Overhang of fiscal jobs, hapless administration, high revenue enhancements, contractionary financial and pecuniary policy, and deficiency of trust in political leading, high corruptness and high non development outgo are cardinal variable for low read GDP growing rates which has led to lift in debt load.
In footings of US Dollar currency depreciation and devaluation is another of import component in increasing the debt load on economic system. It increases the involvement payment and besides the loan face value. From 1991 to 2009 every twelvemonth on mean Rs. has lost its value in footings of US Dollar by 7.2 per centum. Key grounds for lessening in currency value are low exports grosss and high import outgos, which leads to current history shortage which farther leads to more adoptions therefore increasing the debt load and has pushed the economic system in a barbarous circle.
Tendencies in external debt to liability ( EDL ) to GDP are good above 25 per centum in both decennaries which is really dismaying in first decennary it was on mean 53.6 % and 38.45 in the 2nd decennary. In the same period EDL to foreign exchange net incomes besides remained high 277.6 % in the decennary of 1990 ‘s and 179.4 per centum in the first decennary of new century. On external debt involvement payments, remained 7.4 per centum of foreign exchange net incomes, which is besides considered to be high in both decennaries. In the same period EDL to foreign exchange militias stood at 15.35 per centum.
Tax system of Pakistan was inefficient throughout the history. In 1990 ‘s it lacked export fight. In 1990 ‘s there was huge corruptness in revenue enhancement aggregation sections and there was monolithic revenue enhancement escape in revenue enhancement aggregation sections around three per centum of GDP. At current GDP market monetary value entire revenue enhancement to GDP on norm was 16.8 per centum which is rather low, while in the same period indirect revenue enhancement to GDP at current market continuously declined from 12 per centum, which it was in 1991 to 8 per centum in 1999. Since 1999-2000 the revenue enhancement construction of the state had been more regressive. Taxs on basic necessities have reduced the criterion of life of low income people. Business elites enjoy assorted signifiers of fiscal support from the authorities such as revenue enhancement freedoms. There has been a diminution in revenue enhancement grosss, misgiving on authorities high non development outgos are besides the grounds for low revenue enhancement to GDP in first decennary of twenty-first century. Harmonizing to official study every twelvemonth 500 billion rupee corruptness takes topographic point in federal agency of gross. From the period 2000-01 to 2008-2009 indirect revenue enhancement to GDP continuously fell from 8 per centum to 6 per centum while in the same period entire revenue enhancement to GDP on norm remained 14.2 per centum at current market monetary values. Low revenue enhancement to GDP rate is another cardinal ground for rise in financial shortage which led to high domestic debt load.
Debt Burden after affects
Debt load leads to poverty. As the hapless is affected by the increased microeconomic uncertainness, high debt leads to slower growing which reduces employment coevals capacity of the economic system this besides increases poorness. Low per capita income has put the state amongst the poorest of the low income states of the universe. A bigger portion of poorness in the state is due to low investings in the socio-economic upheaval of the people at all degrees, due to inauspicious effects of public debt on economic system, public debt rise increases the involvement disbursal which leads to decrease of financess available for societal development. Pakistan is a state which is merely passing 1.8 per centum of its budget on instruction, 0.5 per centum on its wellness, 80 % of Pakistani ‘s do n’t hold the installation of clean H2O, sewage, hygiene and 60 % Pakistani ‘s are without electricity. Many times in Pakistan debt adoption is done by Central Bank which consequences in addition in money supply which generates into rising prices in the economic system, which has deteriorated criterion of life of hapless people. High debt load and non paying it back non merely injures states repute but it can besides take to bank default which can take to economic prostration which finally leads to countenances by international monitory bureaus.
Overall this research paper has brought to a decision that high public debt is an of import variable for the diminution of our state. Debt sustainability indexs impairment has resulted in high public debt of which twin shortages have played important function. Financing these shortages farther has increased public debt. Poor administration, political instability, short term determinations, no proper dialogue with international assistance bureaus, all these factors are the grounds for rise in public debt. High public debt has forced authoritiess to step back from achieving microeconomic aims of economic growing, monetary value, stableness and feasible external balance of payment. Governments have besides flopped in achieving societal aims. Public debt further has led to investing herding out, rise in general monetary value degree, higher unemployment, autumn in societal indexs and increasing poorness. Recent state of affairs of our state has become really serious particularly when authorities is confronting tonss of other challenges such as war on panic, energy deficits and political instability with debt sustainability, if timely and accurate steps are non taken so prostration of Pakistan is for certain.
We need to better our exports quality. Value added goods, should be exported which will better footings of trade, bring forth higher grosss, this will besides assist in beef uping Rupee in footings of Dollar. Government besides needs to promote and back up baby and new industries.
Private investings need to be encouraged at all degrees. Both nest eggs and investing to GDP needs to be improved.
High import duties on imports of luxury goods have to be imposed which will assist in cut downing current history shortage.
Cuting down of non development outgos is cardinal for cut downing financial shortage.
Security issues, terrorist act and power deficits are factors of immense importance which have resulted in low growing and finally ensuing in increasing debt load on the economic system. Particular attending must be given to get the better of these issues.
Political stableness, good administration, proper institutional model decrease in corruptness policies based on both short and long term and their deductions are of import factors for cut downing debt load.
Government needs to explicate our current economic and political state of affairs with more inside informations to international assistance bureaus sing war on panic, inundation devastation and other issues which can be really effectual in rescheduling of public debt and more assistance offered on soft loans.
Progressive taxing, increased revenue enhancement base and winning the trust of the people of Pakistan that revenue enhancement gross will be utilized expeditiously is an extreme demand for bettering revenue enhancement gross and for cut downing financial shortage which otherwise consequences in addition in domestic debt load.
GDP growing needs to be improved on sustainable footing over decennaries economic growing has been on a roller coaster drive. No state in the universe can refund its domestic and external debt load without economic development on sustainable footing.
Before taking assistance from international bureaus it has to be made certain that it is in the best involvement of our economic stableness and besides non at the disbursal of political instability. Recent International monetary fund reforms have helped in cut downing demand pull rising prices but at the disbursal of cost push rising prices which has led to monolithic unemployment. Recent International monetary fund reforms have increased poorness, self-destructions have increased and people have got hostile and everyplace political instability is a hot subject.