Tengku Zafrul: Ministry of Finance maintains accountability and transparency of financial governance

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is committed to maintaining the accountability and transparency of financial governance, and the only priority during the state of emergency is the use of all existing policies and legislation to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people. .

In terms of accountability and transparency, the Ministry of Finance has issued Malaysian Treasury Circular PB 1.4, Procedure for Estimating Additional Expenses for the Emergency Period.

It describes the guidelines, issues related to the governance of the additional expenditure, as well as the processes involved related to the management of the additional expenditure during the emergency period.

“The governance described will ensure that the additional allocation for this year is a necessary expenditure. The financial situation of the government is also taken into account by the Ministry of Finance before any application is considered,” said Minister of Finance Datuk Seri. Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz in a statement. statement today.

“Therefore, I would like to reiterate my comment of March 22, 2021, where I pointed out that the statutory debt of the government, which includes the issuance of MGS, MGII and MITB, is limited to 60% of gross domestic product (GDP) . “

External loans and treasury bill debts are capped at Ringgit 35bn and Ringgit 10bn, respectively, he said in response to allegations and assumptions by some quarters about government transparency and sincerity in the priority given to the well-being of the population, in particular in the adoption of various policies. To reach this goal.

“Although this ordinance is enforced, the debt limit is still subject to the respective laws governing various types of debt. At the end of 2020, the level of government statutory debt was 820.7 billion ringgit or 58 per cent. percent of GDP, and it is expected to reach 58.5% by the end of the year.

For foreign loans and Treasury bill debt, he said the debt levels of these two instruments were respectively 28.3 billion ringgit and 6.5 billion ringgit.

“I would also like to explain the process of approval of additional federal government spending by the Dewan Rakyat. Normally, the Ministry of Finance will approve the request for additional allocation in advance through the Emergency Fund, Emergency Savings or Expenditure Authorization Letter before obtaining approval from the Dewan. Rakyat.

“For example, the Pakatan Harapan government’s additional spending in 2019 was not submitted by the Perikatan Nasional government until mid-2020 for parliamentary approval,” he said.

Therefore, one of the purposes of amending this ordinance was to allow immediate approval of the additional spending for 2020, taking into account that the additional spending for 2020 had already been spent last year.

At the same time, the 2020 federal government public accounts are also being audited for finalization, he said, adding that furthermore, this ordinance only affects additional spending, and never budget preparation. annual.

“This means that, like Malaysia’s 12th plan, the government will present the 2022 budget (next year’s budget) to Parliament, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution.”

Tengku Zafrul said it should be emphasized that the purpose of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s declaration of state of emergency on January 11, 2021 was to ensure that swift and immediate action is taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 to protect the well-being of the population, ensure business continuity and stimulate economic recovery.

“The measures were also temporary and not permanent in nature. As soon as the state of emergency is lifted, all measures taken by the government during this period will be presented and questioned at the Dewan Rakyat session later,” did he declare. – Bernama

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