Finance minister: Debt Management Office formed to manage govt debt, liabilities

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the office will oversee the issuance and propose the structure of debt incurred by Putrajaya as well as its statutory bodies and government special purpose vehicles. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the office will oversee the issuance and propose the structure of debt incurred by Putrajaya as well as its statutory bodies and government special purpose vehicles. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Debt Management Office (DMO) chaired by the finance minister has been established in order to strengthen the government’s fiscal position.

In a press statement today, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng made the announcement, saying that the office will oversee the issuance and propose the structure of debt incurred by Putrajaya as well as its statutory bodies and government special purpose vehicles.

“The establishment of the DMO is an effort by the administration to overcome and resolve the problem of hidden government debt and liabilities, which have grown in excess of RM1 trillion in 2017.

“The office is among the institutional reforms carried out to strengthen the government’s fiscal position that is closely monitored by international credit rating agencies,” said Lim.

Among the duties that the DMO will perform include schedule bond issuance and overall borrowings by the government, statutory bodies and government-owned companies in an orderly fashion as well as restructuring the relevant bonds and borrowings where possible as cost cutting measures.

It is also expected to formulate strategies to reduce the government’s debt and liability burden and designed to ensure government debt and liabilities are kept in check — preventing it from spiralling out of control.

It will also ensure that reckless borrowing without valid reasons will no longer occur.

Other members of the DMO will include the Chief Secretary Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar, Treasury Secretary-General Datuk Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir, Economic Affairs Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen, Bank Negara Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Securities Commission Executive Chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, PNB Chairman Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Accountant-General Datuk Saat Esa, PWC Malaysia Executive Chairman Datuk Mohammad Faiz Azmi and the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor Muhammad Abdul Khalid.

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