Monday, September 23, 2013

Second supplementary bill in three months tabled

PARLIAMENT The government has tabled its second Supplementary Bill in three months as it seeks an additional RM14 billion for expenditure.

After seeking RM13 billion in July under the 2012 fiscal year, the government is seeking the current sum under the 2013 fiscal year.

azlanTreasury General Services require more than RM11 billion, the biggest chunk of the additional amount.

Of this, almost RM9 billion will go to subsidies for the sale of liquefied petroleum gas, diesel and petrol. This would bring the total fuel subsidy for this year to about RM20 billion.

The Treasury Department is seeking an additional RM600 million as well, to cover operational expenses.

The tabling of the Bill comes just weeks ahead of the tabling of Budget 2014 by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, in his capacity as finance minister.

The Education and Health Ministries have put in a request for RM322 million and RM300 million respectively in the Bill.

An extraordinary item was an allocation of RM84 million to cover the cost of ‘Ops Daulat’, an army operation in Lahad Datu, Sabah, to flush out armed Sulu intruders in March. This raised the supplementary budget for the Defence Ministry to RM239 million. 

Another RM51 million was allocated to the Home Ministry, also specifically for police work carried out during ‘Ops Daulat’.

Close to RM300 million extra was sought for the civil service division, of which RM172 million will go to helping pensioners. The remainder is for civil service scholarships.

Under the RM63 million extra that the Prime Minister's Department wants, nearly half will go to backing TV Al-Hijrah, a news division under the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.

azlanIn July, ratings agency Fitch had cut its outlook on Malaysia's sovereign debt, citing a lack of discipline by the government in arresting the ballooning debt burden. 

Among other things, a persistent budget deficit has pushed the federal government's debt to 53.3 percent of gross domestic product at the end of last year, from 39.8 percent at the end of 2008.

The Fitch report predicted that the BN government would have no political will to push through tax reforms and cut back on its supplementary budget bills, which have become a worrying feature in the last few years.

~ Malaysiakini

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