Monday, March 06, 2023: The Brunei government presented a supply bill of BND5.96 billion for the next financial year during the 19th session of the Legislative Council (LegCo). The government aims to leverage high energy prices to drive post-pandemic recovery.
With estimated earnings of $6 billion, Minister of Finance and Economy II, Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, highlighted a growth of approximately 25% in government revenue in 2022-23. A first in four years, the government is expected to end the current financial year with a marginal surplus of $100 million.
The surge in energy prices, especially after the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has boosted government revenue; however, the minister remained cautious and projected only $2.99 billion for the state revenue in the upcoming year, with a predicted average oil price of $83/barrel.
As per Dato Dr. Amin, the projected revenue for 2023-24 is BND2.99 billion, with BND2.03 billion originating from the oil and gas (O&G) sector and BND952.37 million from the non-O&G sector. The non-O&G revenue can be further classified into BND335.5 million from taxes, BND323.27 million from fees and rent, BND236.28 million from investment returns and deposits, and BND40.49 million from statutory bodies.
The government anticipates a deficit of $2.97 billion for the next financial year, subject to several factors, including domestic oil and gas production, global energy prices, and the growth of the downstream sector in Brunei. As per experts, Brunei’s fiscal deficit will also depend on the strength of the US dollar in 2023-24.
The government has allocated BND2.19 billion for wages, allowances, and deposit payments and BND2.21 billion for recurring expenditure, while BND500 million will be spent on projects under the 11th National Development Plan (RKN 11).