KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 ― The Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration intends to spend RM314.6 billion in its maiden Budget for 2019, or 8 per cent more than the revised RM290.4 billion for this year’s so-called “mother of all Budgets”.
Of this, RM259.9 billion or 82.6 per cent will go towards operating expenditure (opex) while the remaining RM54.7 billion will be spent on development expenditure (devex).
The top three ministries to benefit from the opex spending will be Education (RM55.1 billion), Health (RM26.5 billion), and Finance (RM23 billion).
Overall, most core ministries will have their opex allocations cut from 2018, except for Health, with the biggest drop reserved for Finance.
The reverse is true with devex, however, with most core ministries getting more except for Finance, Works, and the Prime Minister's Department that will receive cuts.
Putrajaya will also raise emoluments to RM82 billion from RM81.3 billion this year, with two-thirds of this allocated to the Education and Health ministries to remunerate about 834,000 civil servants, mainly teachers, doctors and nurses.
However, subsidies are estimated to fall to RM22.3 billion from RM28.1 billion this year, as Putrajaya seeks to reintroduce the managed-float system for RON95 petrol and diesel.
RM5 billion has also been allocated for the restructuring of the rebranded BR1M direct cash aid, now dubbed the Living Aid Assistance, or BSH, benefiting 4.1 million recipients.
Putrajaya also reduced grants to statutory bodies by 6.5 per cent to RM13 billion ― due to a reduction in transfers to entities with high cash reserves ― to discourage reliance on such grants.
Instead, more than half of the grants will be directed to public universities and teaching hospitals.
In addition, RM7.6 billion will be provided as grants and transfers to state governments.