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National budget for next year set at $7.66 billion

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The Council of Ministers hold a plenary meeting on Friday. AKP

National budget for next year set at $7.66 billion

The government has planned a national budget of more than $7.66 billion for 2020, which will be divided by sectors across 39 ministries and institutions.

A press release issued by the Council of Ministers on Friday following a plenary meeting said the government expects the national budget income to reach more than $7.49 billion next year.

The plenary meeting was held at the Peace Place and chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Of the sectors, the social affairs sector plans to spend 37.4 per cent of the national budget – an increase of 8.9 per cent compared to this year.

The national defence, security and public order sector were allotted 25.8 per cent of the national budget which is an increase of 9.3 per cent compared to this year.

The expenditure on the general administrative sector will increase by 4.7 per cent, while the expenditure on the economic sector will increase by 3.3 per cent compared to this year, the press release said.

The expenditure on employees for next year including basic salaries, civil servant allowances, bonuses and social allowances for leaders of public institutions, government, permanent employees and contractual employees is projected at more than $2.1 billion.

This is an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the budget for this year.

Sub-national level expenditure, including the administration at the capital, province, city, district, and commune-level will record a 10 per cent increase to $820 million.

Funding for the development of communes and districts doubles from an average of $35,000 a year to an average of $70,000 for 2020.

New strategies introduced

Salaries for government officials will be raised from $270 to $281 starting January next year. It will further increase to more than $288 in April.

Teachers’ and doctors’ salaries will be raised from $295 to $306 in January next year and it will continue to be raised once more in April to $313.

For the National Police, the salary for sergeants will be raised from $291 to $302 in January. It will increase again in April to $309 (including milled rice allowance).

Similarly, the salary for soldiers in the rank of staff sergeant will be raised from $260 to nearly $270 and it will continue to increase to more than $276 in April, excluding milled rice, the press release said.

During the plenary meeting, Prime Minister Hun Sen introduced the “Strategy to Reform the Public Investment Management System 2019-2025” and the “Strategy to manage the public debt 2019-2023.”

Hun Sen said if his party continued to lead the government, it would “continue not to tax government officials and armed forces of all kinds on the minimum salary, no matter how much the minimum salary is raised.”

The press release said the Cambodian economic growth will drop to 6.5 per cent next year, which will result in a gross domestic product of around $29.36 billion.

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