PARLIAMENT | The Finance Ministry and Bank Negara did not release conflicting data on the federal government's direct debt, Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah said today.
Amiruddin said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Negara today that both the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara, through their latest documents, reported Putrajaya's debt at 51.8 percent of GDP as at end-2018.
"The Finance Ministry, through its Fiscal Updates 2018, reported the government's direct debt position at RM741 billion or 51.8 percent of the GDP, while Bank Negara's 2018 annual report also shows the same figures," he said.
"So there is no issue of conflicting data.
“In fact, the government's direct debt level remains below (the self-imposed limit of) 55 percent of the GDP, and the government will continue to practise good governance in administering any development expenditure in order not to exceed the 55 percent level."
Amiruddin was responding to a question from senator Ismail Ibrahim, who asked what steps were being taken by the government to address the “confusion” in terms of the standards of reports issued by Finance Ministry and Bank Negara, which he felt might hurt the capital market and affect economic growth.
Amiruddin said domestic debt comprised 97.1 percent or RM719.5 billion of total direct debt, while offshore borrowings made up RM21.5 billion or 2.9 percent.
“In addition, the government has other liabilities, such as government guarantees and 1MDB debt, bringing the total debt and liabilities to an estimated RM1.1 trillion or about 76 percent of the GDP as at end-2018,” he added.