A sum of 5.86 billion dollars is proposed for the government’s budget for the Financial Year 2019-2020. In deliberating the Bill which is an Act to supply a sum of money from the Consolidated Fund For Financial Year 2019-2020 and to allocate the sum for specific purposes, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy explained that the recent unstable global oil market will continue to impact the country’s economy that is still highly dependent on the oil and gas sector as the government’s source of revenue. The projected economic growth will increase by 2.3 percent for 2018 and 5.1 percent for 2019.

Yang Berhormat said as a whole, the country’s inflation rate is still under control and stable. The government’s fiscal for the Financial Year 2017/2018 still recorded a deficit of approximately 2.2 billion or 12.8 percent from the Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Meanwhile for the Financial Year 2018/2019, the government is still expected to record a deficit even though the price of the global oil market has increased for the year 2018 at an average of 62 US dollars and 7o cents per barrel compared to the market price in the previous years.

As in previous years, the planned national budget approach is directed towards long-term economic growth. However in the country’s context, economic growth does not necessarily means contributing towards increasing the government’s revenue. Therefore, diligent efforts are required to achieve balance in ensuring the nation’s sustainability and physical stability. Investment towards human resources will also continue to be enhanced to ensure that the workforce is equipped with skills and expertise to meet the job market demands, adaptable and highly productive. The government’s efforts towards achieving balanced budget requires the Whole of Government approach towards Fiscal Consolidation that have been implemented since several years ago and need to continue to be given serious attention.

Towards this, His Majesty has approved a Fiscal Consolidation Programme Guideline to assist every ministry in creating their respective Fiscal Consolidation plans. This includes reviewing the government’s source of revenue and expenditure with the main objective of focusing expenditure towards activities that can encourage economic growth and a more efficient of use of allocation.

Based on these factors, the estimated expenditure for the Financial Year 2019-2020 including the proposed allocations for collection monies for development is 5.86 billion dollars. The estimated government revenue for the Financial Year 2019-2020 is 4.36 billion dollars, where the oil and gas sector revenue is estimated at 3.18 billion dollars. For non-oil and gas, it is estimated at 1.18 billion dollars. Therefore, the national budget for Financial Year 2019-2020 is expected to continue experience deficit amounting to 1.5 billion dollars.

Source: Radio Television Brunei