The Economy and Finance Ministry yesterday defended a proposed increase in next year’s national budget, saying that it is in line with the nation’s economic growth.
About 200 participants from the ministry, Senate, National Assembly and other relevant ministries were briefed on the draft 2019 budget during a workshop on Building the Macroeconomic Policy Framework and Public Financial Policy for Drafting the Law on National Budget 2019 held at the National Assembly.
Vongsey Vissoth, a secretary of state with the ministry, said yesterday that the effects of the global economy, which impacts Cambodia, was factored into the draft budget.
He noted that prior achievements, including peace, political stability, socio-economic development and national unity, were also taken into consideration in the draft.
On October 26, the Council of Ministers approved its national budget draft of about $6.7 billion for 2019, an increase of 11.4 percent over 2018.
According to the draft, the 2019 budget will be about $6.7 billion, up from 2018’s $6.09 billion.
General administration is slated to receive $605.29 million; $1.1 billion is for security and defence, $1.78 billion is for social welfare, $1.62 billion for the economy, and $1.25 billion is for an emergency fund.
The Ministry of Education will get the highest portion of the budget with $899.67 million, followed by the Ministry of Public Works with $735.7 million, the Defence Ministry with $593.71 million, the Interior Ministry with $454.88 million and the Health Ministry with $447.4 million.
The budget has increased year by year, with 2018’s $6.03 billion up from 2017’s $5.23 billion.
Cambodia’s GDP grows at a stable rate of about seven percent annually, with the construction and the tourism sectors contributing the most.