King Norodom Sihamoni on Wednesday signed off on a $6.7 billion budget for 2019, an 11.4 percent increase when compared to this year’s $6.09 billion.
The government is also aiming to collect $4.8 billion in revenues, with $4.2 billion coming from taxes. It plans to borrow about $1.4 billion from development partners and international institutions.
Next year, government expenditure will amount to $4 billion, a 12.3 percent increase when compared to this year, with over $2.2 billion to be used in public sector investments, which is a 9.8 percent increase when compared to this year.
About $1.5 billion will be allocated to social welfare and $1.06 billion will be allocated to security and defence, $653 million will go to an emergency fund, $561 million will be allocated for general administration and $376 million will go to economic development programmes.
The Education Ministry will receive $737 million, Defence Ministry will receive $604 million, Interior Ministry will receive $424 million and the Health Ministry will receive $386 million.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will receive $66 million, despite agriculture being one of the country’s main economic engines.
The budget is based on the government’s forecast that the national economy will grow by 7.1 percent in 2019, with Gross Domestic Product projected to hit $27.22 billion, and GDP per capita expected to increase from the current $1,563 to $1,706.