Public debt continues to decline, says finance minister


banBANGKOK, April 28 – Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij on Wednesday said that Thailand’s public debt had continued to decline and is now staying at only 42 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

His revelation came amid mounting concern expressed by Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul that the public debt might surge to more than 50 per cent of GDP as a result of the implementation of the government’s populist policy.

He said the BoT chief‘s view is just an expression of opinion in a technical manner.

The finance minister affirmed the government will implement its policy with responsibility and fiscal discipline attention.

Mr Korn said the country’s public debt had continued to drop while revenue collection had risen and considerably exceeded the target.

The government stood firm that it would manage to adopt a balanced budget within four years or in fiscal 2015 because the Fiscal Policy Office estimated that revenue collection in fiscal 2011 would also be much higher than targeted.

The expected significant increase in the revenue collection stems partly from the hefty value-added tax collection due to the considerable growth of export and import growth, said the minister.