THE NATIONAL Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday approved amendments to the public debt management legislation to better define what constitutes public financial obligations in the second and final readings.
According to the new definition of public debts, borrowings of the Bank of Thailand and other state-owned financial institutions are not regarded as public debts which mean only borrowings obtained and guaranteed by the Finance Ministry.
As of July this year, the country's public debts amounted to Bt6.22 trillion accounting for 41 per cent of GDP.
The amendments also empower the Finance Ministry to appoint a 12-person committee to take charge of policy formulation and supervision of public debt management. The Finance Minister will chair the committee whose members include chiefs of National Economic |and Social Development Board, Fiscal Policy Office, Comptroller-General’s Department, Bank |of Thailand, Public Debt Management Office, among |others.
The Finance Ministry will also have more flexibility in managing public financial obligations and debt repayments so that it can help develop a better domestic bond market as part of upgrading the country’s capital markets.
The new legislation also empowers the government to invest in debt instruments issued or guaranteed by the Finance Ministry and by the Bank of Thailand and/or other debt instruments with the highest rating of creditworthiness.