The Nation



EC approves borrowing to maintain rice pledging

The Public Debt Management Office will soon borrow Bt38 billion to keep the rice-pledging scheme afloat after the Election Commission approved the additional funding as for an ongoing project.

Suwit Rojanavich, deputy director-general of the office, said yesterday that it had received Bt75 billion in proceeds from issuing bonds and could earn Bt37 billion. The amount of borrowing would be controlled under the pledging-project budget set at Bt410 billion.

Loans for other projects under state-owned enterprises could be deferred during the caretaker government's term. Delaying the Bt350-billion water-management and Bt2-trillion infrastructure-development projects should help reduce the ratio of public debt to gross domestic product by 2-3 percentage points.

The EC also approved the Finance Ministry’s plan to extend the diesel excise tax waiver to end-January.

It would be up to the new government whether this would be extended when the new deadline comes.

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