THE shilling all-time low in January has pushed up the country’s external debt stock to a new level after increased by 107.5 million US dollars.
The debt stock, according to Bank of Tanzania (BoT) latest report, reached 17.44 billion US dollars at end of January after going up by 107.5 million US dollars from the preceding month.
The report, Monthly Economic Review of February said the increase in debt both on month-to-month and yearon- year was on account of exchange rate fluctuations and new disbursements.
“The increase was mainly on account of appreciation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), the currency on which a large proportion of the central government debt is denominated, against the US dollars.” The bank said on annual basis, the stock of debt was 970 million US dollars, higher than in the corresponding period in 2016.
The local currency in late January reached almost 2260/- against a US dollar being the highest in history. The central government debt amounted to 13.65 billion US dollars at the end of January 2016, representing an increase of 84.5 million US dollars from the preceding month.
In total the debt stock increased by 554.6 million US dollars from the end of January 2016. The external debt service amounted to 61.9million US dollars in January, of which payment by the central government was 29.2 million US dollars and the balance was paid by the private sector.
In total for the year ending January, debt service amounted to 891.6 million US dollars, out of which 601.9 million US dollars was paid by the central government and the balance by the private sector and public corporations.