Fri, December 03, 2021


Cabinet okays Bt894 bn worth of public debt for 2020

The Cabinet on Tuesday (September 24) approved a planned public debt worth Bt894 billion for fiscal 2020, with the largest sums being injected into the State Railway of Thailand, which will be getting Bt65 billion, and Bt56.8 billion earmarked for cash-strapped Thai Airways International. 

Cabinet okays Bt894 bn worth of public debt for 2020

Ratchada Thanadirek, deputy government spokesperson, said the Cabinet also approved plans for the management of existing debts worth Bt831.2 billion and debt-repayment plan of Bt398.4 billion. The plans were proposed by Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.
The new public debt will help push the public debt to gross domestic product ratio slightly up to 42.76 per cent from 41.45 per cent in fiscal 2019. Debt to revenue ratio is projected to be 18.48 per cent, well below the limited target of 35 per cent. 
Meanwhile, foreign debt is 2.86 per cent of total debt, well below the limited target of 10 per cent thanks to prudent management. As of July, public debt was worth Bt6.9 trillion or 41.45 per cent of the GDP. 
Of the new debts, Bt748.88 billion will be owed by the government, while state enterprises will owe a total of Bt145.1 billion. 
The government has had to borrow to boost its liquidity and finance its economic stimulus packages as well as cover investment in infrastructure. The government will borrow Bt570 billion domestically to finance budget deficits in fiscal 2020 and will borrow foreign funds equivalent to Bt3.5 billion to finance development projects. 
In order to help state enterprises get cheap funding, the government will lend money it has borrowed to key state agencies. For instance, the State Railway of Thailand will get loans from the government to finance its nine investment projects worth Bt65 billion, while the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand will get loans worth Bt20 billion from the government to finance its mass-transit projects in Bangkok. 
Of the 13 state enterprises that will borrow a combined Bt145.1 billion, Thai Airways is taking a large chunk of Bt56.8 billion to purchase new airplanes and to boost its liquidity, while the Provincial Electricity Authority is borrowing Bt20 billion to finance its investments, the National Housing Authority is taking Bt4 billion and the Provincial Waterworks Authority Bt6 billion. 
The Bt3.2-trillion budget bill for fiscal 2020 is scheduled to be deliberated in Parliament on October 17 for the first reading, with the second and third readings are scheduled to be held between January 18 and 29. The funds are expected to be disbursed in late January. In Thailand, the fiscal year usually starts in October.

Published : September 24, 2019

By : The Nation