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SVG public debt now stands at $1.22 billion

SVG public debt now stands at $1.22 billion


As of September 30, 2011, this country’s public debt stood at $1.22 billion.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement during his presentation of the 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure last Tuesday, December 13.

“This figure is 0.7 per cent lower than the total disbursed outstanding debt for the comparative period in 2010,” Gonsalves said.

“Now that is a remarkable achievement in a period of real challenge,” he continued.

The domestic debt, according to Gonsalves, amounted to $491.35 million at the end of September this year, which represented a 14.9 per cent or $86.29 million decrease when compared to the 2010 figure.

However, the external debt for the corresponding period stood at $730.35 million, an increase of $77.15 million or 11.8 per cent increase over the 2010 amount.

Gonsalves, in his presentation said that the reduction in the domestic debt was due to the amount of $13.4 million which was paid on the amortized bonds, public sector overdraft balances were reduced by $38.9 million and a total of $20.2 million was repaid on loans.

There was, however, an increase in Treasury Bills of $15 million and payables increased by $8.6 million he said.

Payables up to December 13, 2011, according to the prime minister, were $22 million, of which he said $6 million, was owed to the private sector and the rest of the money owed to public enterprises and international bodies and organisations.

He also outlined the main factors which led to the movement of the external debt which included an increase in the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) loans which amounted to $103.8 million, which was as a result of the financial stabilization loan and the further draw downs on the policy based loans Gonsalves explained.

Indebtedness to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had an increase of $14.1 million used to aid in the Hurricane Tomas and flood damage.

According to the prime minister, these increases were moderated by a reduction in other loans, as a result of the repayment of principal which included a reduction of $19.9 million in state owned enterprise loans not serviced by Central Government and a total of $27.4 million had been repaid in bonds.

Total debt service for 2012, according to Gonsalves, is estimated to be $131.8 million or 26 per cent of the Current revenue, and he added that it was useful to note that interest payments are now 3.4 per cent, which was lower than last year’s approved budget.(DD)