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2011 spending: Budget draft for $2.83bn on the table

2011 spending: Budget draft for $2.83bn on the table

THE Council of Ministers is set to approve a draft law on the Kingdom’s 2011 budget today, after officials earlier this year pointed to a US$830 million expenditure rise.

Yesterday, Hang Chuon Naron, secretary of state for the Finance Ministry, declined to discuss further details, saying to “wait and see” if it was approved.

But Cheam Yeap, chairman of the National Assembly’s Commission of Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit, said the proposal may be unchanged from a statement made by Finance Minister Keat Chhon earlier this year.

The minister told National Assembly members in July that the government drafted the budget of 12 trillion riels (US$2.83 billion) for the 2011 — up from 8.5 trillion riels in 2010. Of the amount, 9 trillion riels would stem from various revenue streams, leaving a shortage of 3 trillion riels.

Cheam Yeap said yesterday that a gradual increase of the budget would meet broader needs for economic and social development in the Kingdom.

“For Cambodia, our priority sectors are still education, health, rural development, agriculture, women affairs, social affairs and physical infrastructure,” he said.

“The national security and defense budget may not increase,” he added.

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