Only 20 pct of budget can be spent if 2021 Budget not approved

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 20 per cent of the overall budget, namely “charged expenditure” which is essentially pensions and debt servicing, can be spent if 2021 Budget is not approved, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB) said.

The investment bank said according to a dialogue with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz last Friday, the remaining 80 per cent, including operations of public services like healthcare, education, law and order, must be approved by the Parliament.

“If 2021 Budget is not passed by the Parliament, a revised or new 2021 Budget needs to be tabled and approved before the end of this year to avoid a delay into next year,” it said, quoting Tengku Zafrul in a research note today.

It said according to the minister, the use of Section 102(a) of the Federal Constitution to pass a partial budget is allowed when there is insufficient time to approve a budget before the start of the new financial year.

“This happened in 1999 when Parliament was dissolved as general election was called after the tabling of 2020 Budget, and there was a special Parliament session before the end of 1999 after the general election to approve a partial budget for year 2000.

“However, there is no precedent to approve a partial budget after the rejection of a budget,” added Maybank IB.

The Parliament will vote on 2021 Budget on Thursday (Nov 26). – Bernama