Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) has been allocated with a budget of over $1 billion for the fiscal year 2023/2024, focusing on four aspirations in its strategic plan.
Speaking at the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) Session, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy shared four goals – Economic Development and Diversification; Sustaining Fiscal Sustainability through Efficient Use of Government Financial Allocations; Effective Engagement and Partnership with Stakeholders and; Excellent Service Delivery.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew said that strengthening the government’s fiscal will remain a priority for the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
“…through prudent policy in managing the national budget and finances via Fiscal Consolidation, as well as expanding country’s revenue in every ministry,” he said.
However, a balanced approach is needed for the government’s efforts to diversify economic activities and the strengthening of the private sector will not be hampered.
He added: “InshaAllah, with a concerted effort from all parties in addition to the use of technology for process simplification and improving the quality of services will have a positive impact on the government fiscal position.”
The ministry plays a vital role in a dynamic and strong economy, paralleled with the country’s Vision 2023 and the aspirations in the Economic Blueprint.
A total of $1,014,060,440 for FY 2023/2024 budget was allocated, of which $215,022,350 is to finance the needs of the ministry and the four departments under it.
Meanwhile, for miscellaneous services, a sum of $799,038,090 has been allocated for the needs of all ministries and departments.
For salaries, MoFE has been provided with $61,848,370, to fund wages, bonuses, allowances and Employees Trust Fund (TAP), Supplemental Contributory Pension (SCP) as well as National Retirement Scheme (SPK) contributions for 2,126 positions.
A total of $153,173,980 is provided under MoFE’s recurring expenditure and an amount of $9.5 million is for asset maintenance and repairs, equipment and supplies, said the second minister of finance and economy.
A sum of $2.86 million is for operational expenses such as the annual purchase of uniforms and accessories for officers and staff of the Royal Customs and Excise Department; and $1.17 million for the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics to carry out the Population and Housing Census, the Annual Enterprise/Business Census, the Family Expenditure Survey, the Labour Force Survey and the Quarterly Enterprise Survey.
He further said that information technology is allocated with $28.6 million, among other things, to fund the ministry’s consolidated maintenance and support for six systems amounting to $16.18 million. The Treasury Accounting and Financial Information System (TAFIS) Maintenance and support licence payments including e-Invoice Symantec and Microsoft License provided $4.27 million.
For miscellaneous services, a budget of $6.9 million is given for operating expenses that include $3.02 million for photocopy machine rentals operated by the Treasury Department for all ministries and departments.
Moreover, for education allowances for government officials and employees, a sum of $28.7 million has been allocated and $1.9 million for private special school education allowances for children.
YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew added that $216.5 million is slated for renovation expenditures such as for the women’s dormitory at the Brunei Hall and repair project totalling $3.34 million with a planning cost of GBP19.51 million.
“For the repair and replacement of air conditioning and chiller systems of the ministries and government departments $10 million is allocated; implementation services for the electronic document and case management system $538,000; replacement and upgrading of equipment and buildings at the International Convention Centre totalling $630,000; repair and upgrade work for mosques, suraus and religious centres across the country amounting to $2 million.
Moreover, the spending focus account is allocated a sum of $66.45 million, including $11.88 million for the new SAP platform under the TAFIS 2.0 project.
Meanwhile, $50 million is allocated for infectious disease outbreaks and the management of other outbreaks.
For natural disaster management, an amount of $25 million is allocated, of which $18.8 million is to fund levelling works for roads affected by floods.
Under the development expenditure category, $8.91 million is allocated, among other things, to finance the Brunei Darussalam Stock Exchange Establishment Project; cluster development project (macroeconomics); Brunei Bay Development Project (Pulau Muara Besar); and the National Business Services Platform.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN