Thailand: Bill could cap treasuries at 3% of budget

  • A draft bill on public debt management would cap treasury bills at 3% of annual and extra budget expenditure to let the state manage liquidity more efficiently.
  • Treasury bills are a debt instrument issued by the Finance Ministry with a 120-day maturity. They are used to maintain adequate money for budget disbursement while the government awaits revenue.
  • The current law stipulates that borrowing, including treasury bill issuance, must not exceed 20% of annual and extra budget expenditure.
  • The draft bill is expected to be deliberated in the National Legislative Assembly by Nov 17 after already winning approval from the Council of State and passing a public hearing, said Prapas Kong-Ied, director-general of the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO).
  • Apart from setting the treasury bill ratio, the bill will also include a borrowing period extension for borrowing used to fund budget deficits, he said.
  • The cabinet on 12 Sep 17 approved a public debt plan worth THB1.5tr for FY18. Of the total, THB582bn is new debt and the remainder is rolled over.
  • Public debt amounted to THB6.27tr, representing 41.9% of GDP, at the end of Aug 17.
  • The office also has said it will convert USD250mn in dollar debt to a baht-denominated obligation to curb foreign exchange risk.

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