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International practices and situating public debt management in Oman

A significant amount of work is being undertaken globally on the measurements of public sector debt to enhance its sustainability. Although adoption of standards is likely to take time, a few applications are gradually being accepted internationally. In this chapter an attempt has been made to measure the sustainability of Oman’s public debt and provide a framework based on international practices, to review and propose policy options for the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) and Ministry of Finance (MOF). The Financial Affairs Council (FAC) and the MOF are the two apex authorities responsible for all financial matters in Oman. The FAC is composed of the MOF and representatives from the CBO and the Capital Market Authority (CMA). The MOF proposes financial policies to the FAC related to regulations for adoption and also monitors their implementation. Also, the MOF has authority to borrow on behalf of the Government and keep records of the government’s financial transactions. Specifications such as the purpose and limits of borrowing and objectives of debt management strategy are not spelled out clearly and the reporting of debt management activities is not mandated. In addition, there is no Public Debt Act in Oman. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the global scenario of and solutions for public debt management, current challenges and debt market development in order to identify relevant policy options for the authorities in the Sultanate of Oman.