Major Focus of 2017-2018 National Budgets

The welfare and well-being of the country's citizens and residents are always the Government's top priorities. The Government also strives to ensure these will continue to be enjoyed by the people of today and the future generations.

The efforts include providing assistance and organising programmes covering personal capacity building, health services, electricity and water supplies, housing, road networks as well as other basic amenities. Improving the Welfare of the Public is a major focus of the National Budget for the Financial Year 2017/2018. In support of the said priorities, activities organised under the weekly Bandarku Ceria Programme have received encouraging response. Apart from encouraging people to practise a healthy and active lifestyle, the programme is also intended to maintain well-being or prosperity as well as solidarity.

Ensuring top quality health services is among the priorities in maintaining the welfare and well-being of the country's citizens and residents. This includes provisions for buying medicines, Medical Supplies and Services, the cost of sending patients for overseas treatment and the Treatment of Patients at Specialised Treatment Centres such as the JPMC, Brunei Cancer Centre and the Brunei Neuroscience and Stroke Rehabilitation Centre.

In the aspect of public facilities, the provisions for assets maintenance as well as the maintenance of public facilities and infrastructure, and the upgrading of electrical power supply in the country are also provided.

Affordable housing for low and mid-income citizens has been taken into proper consideration. Several public infrastructure projects such as bridges and roads are underway. An integrated and more organised road transport system is another evidence of the Government's care and concern for the people, especially in addressing the increasing number of vehicles and in improving the safety of road users.

As part of measures to maintain and protect the people's security, well-being and health, the updating and streamlining of a number of import duties under the Customs Import Duties Order 2012 and Excise Duties Order 2012 are being implemented and were enforced starting on the 1st of April 2017.

Through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, several programmes are implemented to improve the personal or self-capacity of welfare aid recipients to enable them to gain the appropriate employment or jobs. This provides them the opportunity to increase their income for the betterment of their own socio-economy. The Government has also created a diversity of programmes for self-improvement especially among jobseekers. These include the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, the National Service or PKBN Programme and using the Youth Centre as a venue for youth to operate and gain income.

All the Government's efforts and provisions are meant to ensure the people will experience and enjoy continuous welfare and prosperity. For this, the people should be grateful and appreciate the prosperity and well-being so that the unity, peace and security will also be enjoyed by future generations.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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