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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Thailand: Cabinet approves borrowing of an additional 275.87 billion THB

Revised debt management plan pushes total new borrowing for fiscal 2024 to 1.3 trillion baht

The cabinet has approved the revised public debt management plan for fiscal 2024 that includes an additional 275.87 billion baht in borrowing, 269 billion of which is for direct government use and for lending to state enterprises for debt restructuring.

The increase in borrowing will push total new borrowing for FY2024 to 1.03 trillion baht from the previous 754.71 billion baht listed in the original plan, deputy government spokeswoman Rudklao Suwankiri said on Tuesday.

The adjustment will raise the public debt-to-GDP ratio to 65.05% from 61.29%, but is still below the framework ceiling of 70% of GDP, she said.

The revised plan can be summarised as follows:

1. New borrowing increases by 275.87 billion baht to a total of 1.03 trillion baht, with 269 billion baht earmarked for government use and lending to state enterprises. It is estimated that such agencies as the State Railway of Thailand, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Provincial Waterworks Authority will be able to borrow an additional 3.4 billion baht from this increased fund.

2. The existing debt management plan increases by 33.42 billion baht to a total of 2.04 trillion baht. Domestic debt management increases by 66.7 billion baht, which involves the restructuring of loans due in fiscal 2024 by 16.7 billion baht and loans due from 2025 to 2028 by 50 billion baht. Meanwhile, foreign debt management decreases by 26.01 billion baht.

3. Debt repayment plan increases by 54.55 billion baht to 454.16 billion baht. The government’s debt repayment increases by 54.55 billion baht while the state enterprises’ debt repayment increases by 25.3 billion baht.

Rudklao said that the cabinet also tasked the Budget Bureau with allocating budgets for the principal and interest payments of debts to ensure they are adequate and consistent with the size of the debts due this fiscal year. Specifically, the repayment of the principal of government debts should not be less than 3% of the annual expenditure budget.

The cabinet also tasked the Finance Ministry with considering state enterprises’ borrowing including methods, terms, debt guarantee and risk management. However, agencies able to borrow independently are encouraged to do so as deemed appropriate and necessary for their operations, the spokeswoman said.

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