Dewan Rakyat passes RM19.6 bil Supplementary Budget

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 4): The Dewan Rakyat today approved the supplementary budget of RM19.6 billion proposed by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

The approval came after the third reading of the Supplementary Supply Bill (2018) and a motion on the First Supplementary Development Expenditure 2018 in front of Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof won a majority vote.

When tabling the Bill two days ago, Lim reportedly said the supplementary budget of RM19.6 billion would not affect the fiscal deficit target of 3.7 percent set by the Government for 2018 as it is part of the real expenditure for the year.

He said the RM19.6 billion supplementary budget comprises RM15.49 billion in development expenditure and RM4.13 billion for operating expenditure.

“As explained, RM6.3 billion is the previous Government’s commitments which had not been allocated for, and RM4.3 billion is the additional allocation needed to service the previous administration’s off-balance sheet items.

“The balance of RM9 billion is not an additional budget, but rather a reclassification of expenditure, mainly from operating expenditure to development expenditure,” he said.

This includes RM2 billion to pay Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) students locally and abroad, RM1 billion to service Dana Infra loans, and RM3.9 billion to service Private Financing Initiative (PFI) loans.

Besides the reclassification, RM1.9 billion was allocated for the transfer of surplus to Kumpulan Wang Pembangunan, Lim said.

He noted that overall, the real operating expenditure and development expenditure for 2018 amounted to RM289 billion compared to RM280 billion approved for the 2018 Estimated Federal Expenditure.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting resumes tomorrow.