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LEGCO PASSES $5.2B BUDGET

Sunday, March 18, 2012 - Generating capacity building for inclusive growth, resilience aimed

A TOTAL amount of $5.2 billion has been approved by the Legislative Council yesterday as the national budget for the fiscal year 2012/2013.

The budget, recorded in the Supply (2012/2013) Act, 2012 shall commence on 1st April 2012.

The approved budget, according to the report distributed by the Legislative Council, is $700 million short of the estimated budget which was proposed to the tune of $5.9 billion.

The $5.9 billion estimate, according to earlier reports from the Minister of Finance II, was supposedly an increase of $100 million from last year's budget of $5.8 billion.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim's (pic) earlier report on the estimated budget centralised this year's government expenditure based on the theme "Generating Capacity Building for Inclusive Growth and Resilience".

Planning of efforts in this year's budget will be prioritised to focus on intensifying and enhancing the human capabilities in the country and additional provisions provided through this, will hopefully improve the quality and efficiency of government services in support of economic diversification, said the Minister of Finance II.

The move, said the Minister of Finance II, is intended to diversify the national economy that is based on the non-oil and gas sector, led by the private sector, in addition to creating more opportunities and quality employment for the locals.

Discussing the annual budget for this year, the LegCo meeting concluded yesterday with deliberations on the last topic on the schedule which was Development under the 10th National Development Plan.

Of the total budget allocation for this year's government expenditures, development under the 10th National Development Plan will receive a total of $1.05 billion.

In a breakdown of the entire budget aside from the development budget, the Ministry of Finance will receive a total of $874,105,310.00, Ministry of Education $731,066,080.00, Prime Minister's Office $593,216,580.00, Ministry of Defence $513, 172, 760.00 and Ministry of Health $347,757,000.00.

Other ministries such as the Ministry of Development will get $307,860,350.00, Ministry of Religious Affairs $238,442,000.00, Ministry of Home Affairs $163,628,720.00, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade $143,974,660.00, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports $97,751,490.00, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources $91,044,090.00 and the Ministry of Communications $78,765,960.00.

According to the Minister of Finance II, the development budget which was set at a total of $1.05 billion will be focused more towards projects that are currently under way, in the tendering process and those that are waiting for the awarding of such tender processes.

This is to ensure that the allocations are being utilised to their maximum capacity.

According to the Minister of Finance II, these projects that are currently being implemented, taking over from the 9th Development Plan encompassing all aspects of development including social security, economy, environment and infrastructure.

Of the 1.048 projects that have been planned, almost 36 per cent are nearly completed, 42 per cent are currently being implemented, 7 per cent in the tendering process and another 15 per cent at the design and planning stage.

The implementation of these projects is focused fully towards the nation's aspirations for achieving the objectives as stipulated in the 2035 vision, said the Minister of Finance II.

-Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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