On the First Meeting of the 13th Session of the Legislative Council last year, 5 point 3 billion dollars have been allocated for the National Budget for the Financial Year 2017-2018. A large sum of the budget allocation has been spent for operational spending, and support the implementation of government projects in line with the stipulated budget focus as well as policies to diversify the nation's economic resources. A special report to review some of the main focus of the National Budget for the Financial Year 2017-2018.
The 2017-2018 Budget carried the theme 'Belanjawan Seimbang Bagi Mendukung Pertumbuhan Ekonomi Yang Mampan' or Balanced Expenditure to Support Sustainable Economic Growth. The theme stressed on the efforts to achieve a balanced budget in protecting the strength of the country's finances from being affected by the uncertain global economy. By implementing the budget based on the theme, efforts to expand the non-oil and gas private sector continue to be a priority. To achieve such an objective, various efforts and initiatives have been taken by related government agencies. These include attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), further develop Government-Linked Companies (GLCs); strengthening Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME's); review and update laws and regulations to facilitate business and others. The 2017-2018 Budget was also directed towards the initiatives that are currently in planning or in implementation, the country's imports and exports rate which is hoped to be improved especially on the contribution towards the nation's Gross Domestic Products from non-oil and gas sectors.
The highlight of the National Budget for the Financial Year 2017-2018 was directed to five main foci namely Prudent Spending, Improve the Country's Productivity, Facilitate Business, Human Capital and Capacity Building, and Maintain Public Well-being. With the unpredictable global economic conditions, the 2017-2018 budget took into account the government's efforts in tackling budget deficit apart from focusing on efforts in providing a foundation for sustainable socio-economic growth and development based on the budget focus. Therefore the 2017-2018 budget stressed that all parties should cooperate to uphold programmes as well as planning that have been arranged and implemented by the government. This include diversifying the country's economy, develop the private sector particularly in attracting FDI's, and provide job opportunities for the local youth. The large budget allocation provided by the government annually is the heart of nation building, in line with the government's goals in ensuring the country's well-being and prosperity so that it can be enjoyed by the future generations to come.
Source: Radio Television Brunei