Aug. 21--The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) has set borrowing at 1.4 trillion baht for the next fiscal year, while maximum public debt to GDP is forecast to be 47.1%.
Borrowing for the year ending Sept 30, 2016 will be about 100 billion baht more than in this fiscal year, director-general Churarat Suthithorn said.
Of the 1.4 trillion baht, 380 billion is new borrowing by the government and state enterprises, 250 billion is to offset the budget deficit and the rest is for other purposes.
Mrs Churarat said 16 billion baht will be used to finance rail projects under the 2.4-trillion-baht infrastructure development plan spanning eight years through 2022.
Borrowing to fund infrastructure projects in the first year is relatively low because these projects are still at an early stage and most initial investment will be spent on design and expropriation.
Mrs Churarat said the PDMO will next month discuss an outline time frame and specify which debt instruments will be used for new borrowing.
The office also plans to allocate savings bonds worth up to 30 billion baht in the first quarter next year. They will have maturities of 7-10 years and include amortised, benchmark and inflation-linked bonds.
A Finance Ministry source said fiscal 2015's public debt would not exceed 47.1% of GDP, down from 48.2% planned by the previous Pheu Thai-led government.
State revenue collection fell 132 billion baht to 1.678 trillion baht or 7.3% short of target for the first 10 months of this fiscal year, due mainly to lower-than-targeted value-added tax on imported products, excise tax on vehicles and corporate income tax.
Keeping the excise tax on diesel also affected revenue collection. In July alone, state revenue of 130 billion baht missed the target by 17.8 billion or 12.1%.
The target for revenue collection in fiscal 2014 is 2.275 trillion baht. The Finance Ministry recently estimated that revenue would fall at least 100 billion baht short of the target.
The PDMO must shoulder an average interest expense of 20 billion baht a year from a rollover of 500 billion incurred from the rice pledging scheme.
(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
Visit the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand) at www.bangkokpost.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services