Special Select Committee on Budget outlines eight recommendations

11 Oct 2019 / 16:25 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Special Select Committee on Budget has listed eight recommendations for the government to strengthen further the management and enhance the transparency of debt and liabilities exposure based on the principles of good governance, prudence and constant monitoring.

Among others, the committee recommends that the government present the debt and liabilities exposure position to the Parliament on a regular basis to enable the monitoring of debt repayment, interest payment and debt level.

According to the 2020 Fiscal Outlook and Federal Government Revenue Estimates report released by the Finance Ministry (MoF) today, the committee also wants the government to report detailed commitments of government guarantees (GGs), public-private partnership (PPP) projects, private finance initiatives (PFI) and Pembinaan BLT Sdn Bhd in the annual Budget Estimates by specific project and ministry to reflect the actual obligations of these projects.

Other recommendations include the review and assessment of the GGs to determine the guarantees that need to be assisted and the setting of a statutory or administrative limit on GGs.

The committee also recommends the government report the actual commitment of debt service charges and its percentage of revenue in detail.

The committee, MoF said, also suggests the introduction of specific coding in the annual Budget Estimates for other financial commitments such as PPP, PFI or transfer payment related to debt and liabilities.

The government must constantly monitor the ratio of total debt and liabilities exposure to GDP, federal government deficit to GDP as well as debt service charges over revenue, the committee said.

It also recommended that the debt level of Malaysia and peer countries, particularly in Asean region and other advanced economies, be analysed on a regular basis.

The committee is one of the six select committees announced in December 2018 in an effort to enhance and strengthen the function of the parliamentary institution as well as to ensure checks and balances.

The bipartisan committee comprises both government and opposition members of Parliament, with the main task of scrutinising the federal budget and matters that may impact the budget execution. - Bernama

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