BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Brunei will see a 300 million Brunei dollars (211.67 million U.S. dollars) fall in budgetary spending in the financial year 2017-2018 compared to the previous fiscal year.
A national budget of 5.3 billion Brunei dollars for the new fiscal year was proposed by Abdul Rahman, Brunei's Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance, on the second day of the 13th Legislative Council session, a local news daily reported on Wednesday.
The proposed government spending is a record low as dwindling energy prices weigh on Brunei's oil and gas-based economy.
This year's proposed spending is lower than the 5.6 billion Brunei dollars budget for the 2016-2017 financial year, which was lower than the 2015-2016 spending of 6.3 billion Brunei dollars, and this was in turn less than the previous year's figure of 7.3 billion Brunei dollars.
Meanwhile, the expected government income for the financial year 2017-2018 is projected to be 3.45 billion Brunei dollars. The projection has taken into account a revenue of 2.509 billion Brunei dollars from the oil and gas sector and 941.33 million Brunei dollars from the non-oil and gas sector which is 27.3 percent of the total revenue.
This means that the country's fiscal deficit will hit 1.85 billion Brunei dollars in the new fiscal year, way below the 3.8 billion Brunei dollars deficit the country projected last year.
"Our country is still able to handle the challenges of continuous economic slowdown and falling government income, and the welfare of the people in the country are always given the priority," the minister said in his budget speech.
The country's economic growth is projected to be 0.8 percent for 2017, the minister said, quoting figures from the Department of Economic Planning and Development. Enditem