Govt guarantees loans worth RM217.4b, says Najib

According to the prime minister, the govt guarantees are granted to a range of sectors

By P PREM KUMAR & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The federal government has guaranteed loans worth RM217.37 billion up to June 2017.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak said the government guarantees were granted to four statutory bodies and 26 firms under the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc).

“The government guarantees were granted for the implementation of high-impact national strategic projects and provide benefits to the people at large,” he said in a written parliamentary reply.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said the government guarantees were granted to a range of sectors — namely education, services, infrastructure, finance, investment holdings and utilities.

He was responding to Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye, who had asked the government to state the current contingency liability bolstered by the federal government.

Meanwhile, in a separate reply to Indera Mahkota MP Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman, Najib said the federal government’s total debt stood at RM685.1 billion as at end of June 2017.

The total debt represents 50.9% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), well below the self-imposed debt ceiling of 55% to GDP.

Najib said of the total, 96.7%, or RM662.4 billion, was made up of domestic debt (42.9% of GDP), while the remaining 3.3%, or RM22.7 billion, were foreign borrowings (1.7% of GDP).

“The federal government’s debt position remains manageable and is categorised as a moderate debt level,” said Najib.

The federal government’s gross borrowings made every year, are calculated only after taking into account the need to repay matured debts, interest and deficits.

Najib said this year, gross debts amounted to RM108 billion, from which principal repayment was RM67.2 billion and loan-to-finance deficit was RM39.9 billion.

“The government will always ensure that the repayments of principal and interest will be done as scheduled and on time.

“The government, to date, has never failed in paying on time,” he said.