MoD proposes $234m budget

National 1 minute, 43 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Development (MoD) yesterday proposed a new budget of $234 million for 2016/2017, down by nearly 21 per cent from the previous fiscal year.

Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah presented the budget allocation yesterday at the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session, explaining his ministry’s $62 million cut in expenses was due to the need for prudent spending amid the economic downturn.

The bulk of the proposed budget will be spent on recurring expenditure with a total of $116 million, followed by $104 million for staff salaries and $14.2 million for special expenditure.

Meanwhile, $1.5 million will be used to implement six projects or new acquisitions including two projects with a proposed cost of $1.5 million.

Another $12.6 million will go towards implementing 12 repossession projects including eight projects with a proposed cost of $17.1 million.

The minister also revealed the public owed $61 million in outstanding payments to MoD, describing the arrears as a financial burden on the government.

Of the outstanding amount, $33 million were for water bill payments, $25 million were for national housing scheme payments and $3 million were for land tax.

YB Dato Hj Bahrin vowed his ministry will step up efforts to be proactive in collecting these arrears.

“Admittedly, the level of law enforcement and government regulations at this time still needs a lot of improvement,” he said.

In a bid to strengthen enforcement, MoD will integrate its enforcement with other enforcement agencies.

Besides arrears, the move will tackle prevailing issues such as encroachment of government land, unauthorised development and improper waste disposal.

YB Dato Hj Bahrin also announced the introduction of a continuous improvement approach, dubbed the “Rolling 90 Day Plan”, to reform public services and other internal processes in his ministry.

“This plan is based on proposed improvements listed by departments and divisions within the ministry, and every progress and improvement initiative will be monitored regularly at least once every three months,” he said.

While it is too soon to assess the plan’s effectiveness, he observed it has enabled heads of departments and senior officials to focus on making continuous improvements.

The Brunei Times