The government spends around $300 million per month on infrastructure while earning “$500 million in revenue”, said Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Included in the $300 million price tag are “constructions, repairs and salaries”.
Speaking during an inspection on Monday of the Morodok Techo National Stadium’s construction site, located in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, Hun Sen said the Kingdom’s economy is expected to grow 7.1 per cent this year.
The prime minister said customs revenue collection this month reached more than $250 million as of the end of last week.
“The head of customs told me that [we] have three more days left [of revenue collection]. At an average of $10 million per day, we will reach $280 million this month. Adding other tax and non-tax revenue, this month we will have $500 million,” he said.
Hun Sen’s financial disclosures come in response to potential sanctions which may be imposed on Cambodia, such as the US’ Cambodia Democracy Act and suspension of the Kingdom’s preferential access to the EU market under the “Everything But Arms” agreement.
According to a National Bank of Cambodia report, as of the first half of this year, the Kingdom had $11.1 billion in foreign exchange reserves that could guarantee 4.9 months’ of import cover.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said it is very important to openly discuss government revenue and spending at both the political and technical levels.
“Revenue and expenditures should be transparent information and a basis for [financial] management and avoiding economic risks. It’s not something to hide,” he said, adding that they are for relevant parties such as civil society and economic experts to discuss.
“If there is a more than $100 million surplus in revenue per month, then Cambodia should think about reducing foreign loans and developing more sectors."
“I believe that reducing foreign borrowing is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for national economic development,” said Chey.