KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): The government’s aspiration to achieve a balanced budget seems to be out of reach right now or even for the next few years due to the country’s financial limitation and restraints, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said the fact that the country’s debt was amounting to RM1 trillion had also made it difficult.
“If the government could allocate more for development expenditure, it would definitely lead to a more rapid economic growth and that the people could feel the difference in terms of their quality of living.
“But, in the current situation when the country is facing financial limitations, it is difficult to do so,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply (Restructuring Expenditure Allocation) Bill 2018 at the Dewan Negara here today.
Earlier, Senator Chandra Mohan S. Thambirajah in his debate, proposed to the government to introduce a balanced budget and set aside more allocation for development.
On another matter, Lim said an increase or restriction of allocation would only affect ministries or agencies which had been restructured or changed.
“So when we say there will be restriction or an increase of allocation, that it specifically for certain ministries. If their agencies were removed, of course the allocation will be restricted, but if they have to take in new agencies, the allocation for them will be increased.
“Overall, the budget is still the same with what had been approved, but of course it does not take into account the off-budget transactions of the previous government,” he said.
The bill, which involves a budget of RM6.22 billion, was tabled following the restructuring of several ministries after the 14th General Election.
It was later passed for the third reading.
The sitting continues tomorrow. — Bernama