Tue, 31 Jan 2023

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's National Assembly on Tuesday approved a draft budget of 9.64 billion U.S. dollars for the government spending in 2023, up 13 percent from about 8.5 billion dollars in 2022.

Eighty-nine lawmakers present at the parliamentary session unanimously passed the draft bill.

Speaking during the assembly session, Cambodia's economy and finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth said the budget is equal to 29.87 percent of the Southeast Asian nation's gross domestic product (GDP).

He said that the proposed budget is to ensure the success of general elections and the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2023 when Cambodia will be the host.

Pornmoniroth, who is also a deputy prime minister, said the kingdom's economy is predicted to grow by 6.6 percent in 2023 from 5.4 percent in 2022.

To meet the expenditure, the government is expected to make a total revenue of 7.21 billion U.S. dollars next year, up 14.5 percent from this year, according to the draft budget law.

It added that the government has also planned to borrow another 1.7 billion SDR (Special Drawing Rights), nearly 2.2 billion dollars, from friendly countries and development partners as well as to raise more funds from sovereign bond issuance.

Chheang Vun, chairman of the parliament's committee on economy, finance, banking and audit, said the budget next year would be focused on general administration, public health, education, economy-driven sector, social sector, national defense, security and public order among others.

The draft bill will need to be finally reviewed by the country's senate before being submitted to the king for endorsement.

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