Brunei has been spending more than it receives in revenue to ensure the welfare of the people.
This was said by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday, adding that it is also used to lure foreign direct investment (FDI), expand micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and develop the human resource.
The minister was responding to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Salleh Bostamam bin Haji Zainal Abidin’s query on Wednesday regarding the conservative budget.
The minister said the size of the budget depends on revenues and it is only in recent years that the Sultanate has balanced its budget.
He also said there will be continuous investment in the future generations, and generate opportunities such as technology transfers from abroad and spin-off industries.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew believes Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd (BMC) and Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI) in the Belait District will give rise to spin-off industries.
Regarding question about opening facilities of mass production in districts other than Brunei-Muara, the minister said there are four industrial sites in Belait – BMC, BFI, Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP); aquaculture industry in Tutong; and three industrial sites in Temburong on top of Labu Square and tourism activities.
Meanwhile, for the basket of goods and services, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said they are set by the Price Control Unit of the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics.
He said the number of products monitored was expanded during the COVID-19 outbreak, and to date, 300 businesses have been checked, adding that the public can compare prices on websites, social media and the PenggunaBijak app.
Regarding Ease of Doing Business (EODB) ranking, the minister said it had been discontinued by the World Bank since 2021 and replaced by a new scheme, and vowed that improvements will be made in accordance to the new guidelines, adding that there has been progress in EODB in acquiring construction permit and getting electricity.