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Myanmar Estimates K7.2 Trillion Budget Deficit



Myanmar is suffering from severe budget deficits every single year, and estimates indicate that the budget deficit in Fiscal Year 2019 will be around K7.2 trillion according to the Ministry of Planning and Finance. During the six-month transitional fiscal year from April 2018 to October 2018, Myanmar recorded a budget deficit of K4.2 trillion, said U Maung Maung Win, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Finance, at the Union Parliament.

The government obtained a loan of approximately K994 billion from foreign lenders and generated K3.2 trillion from selling treasury bonds and notes to cover the deficit of K4.2 trillion in the Union Government Account for the transitional fiscal year.

For the current fiscal year, Parliament approved a proposal from the government to borrow K2.11 trillion from foreign lenders, according to the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

Moreover, Ministry of Planning and Finance is planning to sell around treasury bonds and notes worth K4.06 trillion, and to obtain a K1.01 trillion loan from Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), said U Maung Maung Win.

“The ministry is regularly reporting the status of government’s local and foreign debt to parliament, and now we need approval of the Union Parliament to obtain loans from CBM,” the Deputy Minister said.

Because of risk-free nature of treasury bonds and notes from the government, many local investors — especially banks — are interested in investing in treasury bonds and notes, said U Bo Bo Ngal, the Vice President of CBM.

In fact, the CBM is selling government treasury bonds and notes to financial institutions on behalf of the Ministry of Planning and Finance, serving as an agent between the ministry and the dealers.

The Central Bank of Myanmar has issued bonds for 2-year, 3-year, and 5-year terms with an annual interest rate of 8.75 percent to 9.5 percent. Government Treasury notes are issued in 3-month, 6-month and 1-year terms, with a 7-9 percent interest rate, according to Central Bank of Myanmar.