Cambodia delays construction projects to focus on COVID-19 combat hinh anh 1Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian Government will postpone all its construction projects in a bid to earmark the budget for fighting the possible COVID-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on March 4.

Khmer Times cited the PM as saying at the Health Ministry’s annual meeting in Phnom Penh that all construction projects by the government have not yet been started and need to be procrastinated unless they are jointly funded by foreigners. 

Cambodia can put off all constructions till next year as its need to know how much money it has in hands after the containment of COVID-19, according to him.

He also warned some ministers not to ask for more budgets to expand their ministries, noting that the country’s priority is to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 because of limited capital.

Meanwhile, Chan Sophal, director of the Centre for Policy Studies of Cambodia, said that the postponement will have negative impact on economic growth this year. Economic expansion in 2020 is expected to drop to about 6 percent.

He added the government’s annual infrastructure projects such as maintaining provincial roads, building canals and schools cost about 400 million USD.

Also on March 4, the Cambodian Government decided to cut 50 percent of expenditures by state agencies. The reduction is only 25 percent for the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Commerce and the Office of the Council of Ministers.

However, PM Hun Sen said public employees’ salaries will not be reduced./.