Brunei Finance Minister II: Brunei Government Subsidies To Stay
Total Subsidies Given By Government:
Rice and Sugar = $12 million to $20 million annually
Petrol = $397 million (2012/13), $380 million (2013/14), $328 million (2014/15)
Electricity = $48 million (2011/12), $97 million (2013/14)
Subsidies to stay, but prudence advised
on: March 09, 2017
| Rokiah Mahmud |
MILLIONS of dollars worth of subsidies have been apportioned by the government throughout the years and the welfare of Brunei’s peoples is well taken care of.
This was the message YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance II was trying to get across during the third day of the 13th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.
The government subsidy issue was one of the matters raised during the session by LegCo member YB Haji Abdul Hamid @ Sabli bin Haji Arshad.
Citing some examples, the minister said that rice and sugar supplies are subsidised between $12 million to $20 million annually, while electricity is subsidised up to an estimated $48 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year. In the 2013-14 financial year, electricity subsidies rose to $97 million, before new tariff rates were introduced.
Petrol subsidies, meanwhile, are based on the prevailing oil prices, according to the minister, who pointed out that subsidies are raised in accordance with increase in oil prices. The minister gave a few examples: During the budget allocation for 2012-13, the petrol subsidy was $397 million; in 2013-14 it was $380 million; and in 2014-15 $328 million.
In the 2015-16 national budget, due to the global oil price decline, the petrol subsidy allocated by the government amounted to just $160 million.
Touching on government subsidies for the National Housing Scheme (RPN) and the Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme (STKRJ), the minister explained that the government has offered affordable, cost-subsidised housing – priced between $41,000 to $70,000 – for Brunei citizens (similar houses would normally cost up to B$100,000 to construct).
The minister urged the country’s citizens to practise prudent spending and be thankful for the subsidies that have been provisioned by the government.
Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin