The $4.3 billion 2016 draft budget moved one step closer to adoption yesterday, as the ruling party-controlled parliamentary committee tasked with reviewing the document gave it the green light.
“We have examined the draft budget law and have agreed to take it to the National Assembly’s standing committee to set up the agenda for a full session [of parliament] to debate and adopt it as soon as possible,” said Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap, who is head of the National Assembly’s banking and finance commission.
Though the budget is moving forward, opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay, who is deputy of the commission and a strident anti-corruption campaigner, said there were still issues with transparency that needed addressing.
“The collection of revenue from casinos and economic land concessions and a number of other sectors are still not properly [defined], so the revenue can still end up in the pockets of individual officials.”
The government presented its 2016 draft budget on October 21, revealing a 12.18 per cent increase in funds compared with 2015. Among the big winners was the education sector, which got a $502 million slice of the pie.