March 29: The obligation of the Treasury Bills (T bills) that the government has been issuing to collect internal debts has been on the rise every year.
The fiscal liability incurred from the T-bills has sharply increased due to the rollover and the government’s failure to pay back the principal amount. The government issues the T-bills as a short-term bond to raise funds for the period less than a year.
According to the Public Debt Management Office, the government's obligation for the internal debt is likely to exceed Rs 473 billion. Under Secretary at the Office Dilaram Giri said that the Office has sought Rs 100 billion from the government to pay back some percent of the total amount in the upcoming fiscal year.
"We have asked to prioritize the clearance of the principal amount of the debt. The amount was sought to pay back the debt amount of the Treasury Bills by 25 per cent every year," he added.
According to the Office, a total of Rs 337 billion has been sought from the government in the next fiscal year (FY 2023/24) for the fiscal management to repay both the internal and external debts' principal amount and interest. However, the government is not in a position to provide the amount as asked by the Office due to the low revenue collection.
Assistant spokesperson of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Narayan Prasad Pokharel said that some 80 to 90 per cent of the T-bills have been rolled over so far.
"The internal debt should be raised as targeted by the budget. But, the government can ask not to continue it if sufficient revenue is collected and other sources of budget have been explored," Pokharel argued.
From the payment of the T-bills, the banks and financial institutions will have sufficient liquidity and that could contribute to lower the interest rate. However, the BFIs seem more focused on investing in the T-bills.
The NRB on Tuesday is issuing Treasury Bills of Rs 22.10 billion to raise internal loans and the maturity time for the amount ranges from 28 to 364 days.
As per the Public Debt Management Office, the government's sovereign debt is Rs 2070.53 billion including Rs 968.1 billion internal debt.