Phnom Penh (VNA) - The National Assembly of Cambodia on November 22 passed the budget of 5.04 billion USD for the government spending in 2017.

Sixty-six lawmakers from the Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) voted in favor of the proposed budget law, while 40 opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmakers did not vote.

The adoption of the budget needed a 50-percent plus one majority vote, or 63 votes.

CNRP lawmakers joined the parliament's plenary session for the first time on the day after boycotting it since May to protest a court case against their deputy leader Kem Sokha.

Finance Minister Aun Porn Moniroth said the 2017 government spending was equal to 22.67 percent of GDP and was up 15.6 percent compared to this year's expenditure.

The budget for 2017 is very important to ensure the economic growth of 7 percent per year and to reduce at least 1 percent of poverty rate annually, he told the parliamentary session.

Cambodia's economy is forecast to grow 7 percent in 2017, bringing its GDP to nearly 22 billion USD, and the GDP per capita is forecast to reach 1,422 USD.

According to the freshly-approved budget bill, the government will allocate some 834 million USD for national defense, security and public order in 2017, an increase of 20.4 percent year-on-year.-VNA