December 7, 2012

Public debt stands at $1.3 billion

This country’s public debt as of the end of September this year amounted to $1.3 billion, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves revealed Tuesday, as the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure were being presented.{{more}}

“This figure is 7.4 per cent greater than the total disbursed outstanding public debt for the comparative period in 2011,” Gonsalves said.

He explained that the total domestic debt amounted to $565.1 million and represents a 15 per cent or $73.8 million increase over the 2011 figure.

The external debt for the same period stood at $747.3 million, marking a 2.3 per cent or $17 million increase.

Contributing to these increases, according to the prime minister and minister of finance, are the net increase in amortized bonds of $26.6 million, which resulted from new borrowings, an increase of $19.6 million in loans coming mainly from a further drawdown of $13.7 million on the International Airport Development Company’s (IADC) Petro Caribe loan and an increase of $20 million in Government’s payables.

Gonsalves also outlined the main factors surrounding the movement of the external debt, saying that a total of $51.4 million was repaid on a number of loans and bonds, including $11.9 million on Caribbean Development Bank loans, $4.6 million on a European Investment Bank loan and $27.4 million on bonds.

“A total of $68.2 million in new debt was drawn down over the period under review,” Gonsalves said.

These, he said, included a further drawdown on the ALBA loan of $62 million and a new loan contracted with the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) in the sum of $6.2 million to finance aspects of the international airport project.

The total debt service for 2013 is estimated to be $138.5 million or 27 percent of the current revenue, the prime minister said. (DD)