Nepal’s public debt surpasses Rs 2.4 trillion

Kathmandu: Nepal’s public debt has surged past Rs 2.4 trillion during the current fiscal year 2023/24, marking a significant increase from the beginning of the year. According to the latest data from the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), as of mid-June, the country’s domestic debt stands at Rs 1.195 trillion, while external debt amounts to Rs 1.28 trillion.

At the outset of the fiscal year in mid-July 2023, Nepal’s total public debt was Rs 2.299 trillion. Since then, an additional Rs 199 billion in debt has been accrued in the first 11 months. Presently, domestic debt constitutes 49.68 percent of the total, with external debt making up the remaining 50.32 percent.

Of the external debt, Rs 1.071 trillion is owed to multilateral lenders, and Rs 136.74 billion to bilateral lenders. Domestically, development bonds account for the largest share at Rs 764.94 billion, followed by treasury bills at Rs 412.69 billion, citizen savings certificates at Rs 10.75 billion, foreign employment savings certificates at Rs 170 million, and IMF bonds at Rs 3.91 billion.

For the current fiscal year, the government aimed to raise a total of Rs 452.75 billion in debt, comprising Rs 240 billion in domestic debt and Rs 212.75 billion in external debt. By mid-May, significant progress had been made with Rs 225 billion raised in domestic debt and Rs 82.67 billion in external debt, achieving 67.96 percent of the annual target overall.

Dirgha Raj Mainali, Chief of the PDMO, reported that as of mid-May, Rs 145 billion in debt still needed to be raised to meet the fiscal year’s targets, including Rs 15 billion in domestic debt and Rs 130.07 billion in external debt.

In terms of debt repayment, Rs 225.17 billion was allocated for principal repayment and Rs 105.38 billion for interest payments during the fiscal year. By the end of the first 10 months, Rs 197.32 billion (87.83 percent of the principal allocation) and Rs 31.52 billion (70.9 percent of the interest allocation) had been disbursed.

As of mid-May, Rs 227.20 billion had been utilized for repaying principal and interest on domestic debt, with Rs 43.99 billion allocated for external debt repayment during the fiscal year.