Thursday, February 22, 2024
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COVID-19 challenges will drive government to be more effective, efficient: Minister

Hakim Hayat

Minister at the Prime Minsiter’s Office (PMO) Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud said uncertainties in the global market due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have continued to impact national revenue and budget allocation and inevitably caused challenges to the country’s plans to achieve a sustainable economy and maintain fiscal balance.

In his motion of thanks to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on the second day of deliberations at the 18th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday, he said that these challenges warrant all government agencies to become more efficient and effective, in addition to updating policies, regulations and other initiatives.

“In the short-term, we need to preside over our national fiscal balance, in addition to ensuring a strong and consistent economic growth. Toward this, we need an integrated ‘whole-of-nation and ‘whole-of-government’ approach,” he added.

He also underscored the need for the public and private sector as well as citizens and residents of the country to play a role in tackling the challenges to attaining the goal.

“It is vital for the government, private sector and community at large to work together as a strong team, so our country can take advantage of challenges as opportunities for effective and positive change,” he added.

File photo of Sinopharm vaccines arriving in the country

The government, through the PMO, he said will continuously fortify governance on all levels to ensure the best, most efficient and effective quality of service for the public.

“This includes the wide adaptation of information technology in the public service in ensuring services can still be provided amid the pandemic,”

He also said the PMO, through its Brunei Vision 2035 Office will work together with all stakeholders to ensure that all planning and projects can be implemented to help the country achieve Brunei Vision 2035.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser to His Majesty and Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa bin Pehin Datu Perdana Manteri Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Ibrahim said the emergence of the pandemic has created new challenges and changed the way society interact, work, conduct business and learn.

One positive consequence is the rapid digital transformation that has enabled activities in the new norm.

He also noted that various initiatives from public and private sectors have supported parties affected by the pandemic, including extending aid to micro, small and medium enterprises, providing financial assistance to private sector and supplying computer equipment for students.

He said a fast and reliable Internet service for the country is crucial to ensure that no one is
left behind.