Public debt set to rise

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THE total public debt is projected to increase to K25.9 billion this year — K4.3bil more than the 2017 Budget estimate of K21.6bil, according to a government report.
The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook report prepared by the Treasury and released last Wednesday, stated that net external borrowings totalled K289 million.
This represented 17 per cent of the year’s total of K1.683bil, and included the second tranche drawdown of the Credit Suisse-syndicated loan facility.
“External borrowing has been lower than anticipated mainly due to slow drawdowns of project loans in the first half of the year, and the delay in the drawdown of the balance of the Credit Suisse-syndicated loan facility,” the report said.
“As at June 2017, external principal repayments totalled K133.4mil — 49.4 per cent of the 2017 budget appropriation of K269.8mil.
“The new 2017 external principal repayments are projected to be K272.6mil.”
Total domestic borrowings as at June, 2017, totalled K6.912bil, representing 83 per cent of the 2017 Budget appropriation of K8.323bil.
“This escalation in borrowing in the first half of the year was driven largely by lower than anticipated revenues and financing of 2016 carry-over expenditures,” it said.
The new domestic borrowing for 2017 is expected to increase to K12.536 billion.
This represents about 51 per cent increase from the budget estimate of K8.323 billion, the report said.

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