Illustrative image (Source: AFP)
 

Singapore (VNA) - The Singaporean Government’s budget spending is expected to increase 3.68 billion SGD to 75.07 billion SGD (over 53.6 billion USD) in financial year 2017 - the highest amount so far, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

While delivering the budget statement for financial year 2017 in the Parliament on February 20, Minister Heng said the budget spending will focus on restructuring the economy in the medium term, resolving short-term challenges, and promoting social assistance measures in the context of the country’s ageing population.

According to the minister, Singapore will disburse 2.4 billion SGD to perform a four-year strategy to make its economy adaptable to changes in the world on the basis of recommendations put forth by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), which has recently unveiled a set of strategies aimed at ensuring annual economic growth of 2-3 percent.

Additionally, the country will still focus on implementing initiatives on industrial development, which were launched in 2016 with a cost of 4.5 billion SGD.

A fund worth 600 million SGD will be set up to help domestic enterprises seek investment opportunities abroad and scaling up their business, he said.

Singapore will spend 700 million SGD on public infrastructure projects in a bid to improve transport systems, upgrade community clubs and sport facilities and facilitate people’s access to public services.

To solve social issues, the country will also allocate 1.4 billion SGD to assist enterprises and labourers, as well as individuals, households and vulnerable groups through initiatives outlined by the Ministry of Manpower, which aim to increase wages and providing vocational training  programmes, thus helping labourers adapt to changes related to economic restructuring.

Despite an increase in the budget spending, Minister Heng said the budget is projected to enjoy a surplus of 1.9 billion SGD in financial year 2017, equivalent to 0.4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the surplus of 5.2 billion SGD in financial year 2016.-VNA