$5.86 billion budget proposed, $1.5 billion deficit projected by end of 2019/2020

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A picture of the the Ministry of Finance and Economy headquarters taken from a distance. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Brunei may be facing another $1.5 billion deficit by the end of 2019/2020, the second Minister of Finance and Economy projected at last week’s session of the 15th Legislative Council meeting.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah announced a proposed budget of $5.86 billion – but also added a projection that the government will only be collecting $4.36 billion revenue by the end of the fiscal term.

He projected that $3.18 billion from such revenue to come from the oil and gas sector and $1.18 billion via the non-oil and gas sector.

The second Minister of Finance and Economy also highlighted that Brunei will continue to see a trend of budget deficits by the end of 2018/2019 – after recording a $2.2 billion deficit for 2017/2018.

In light of improving Brunei’s economic situation, government expenditure for 2019/2020 will be directed to:

• Improving investment activities
• Facilitating businesses
• Generate competent and employable human resources
• Preserving public welfare

The Minister also reminded that the budget for the new fiscal term should be utilised in a “more forward-looking manner” and “conducive to growth” to face future and current challenges.

The Bruneian