When The Honorary Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Finance announced last month that the budget for 2016 is for the people, I thought it was just another of those political headlining. Every year they announced some sort of people’s budget so I was quite skeptical about it.
When the details came out for the Ministry, we were quite shocked. We were warned the 2016 budget would be lower than 2015, but we weren’t quite prepared for the scale of the reduction. On paper we were getting almost the same as 2015 but most the money goes to emolument, 80% to be exact as compared to 76% in 2015. That is the sort of scale on the size of the Ministry’s staff. It took a hefty 80% of our budget, leaving us with a meagre 20% to work with to manage the Ministry’s activities. The amount left is about 2 billion less than what we got for 2015. As you know, all government allocation are apportioned according to sections know as Objek Am (OA) which somehow coded by thousands such as 10000, 20000, 30000 and 40000. Each of this Objek Am is further subdivided into Objek Sebagai (OS) such as 11000, 12000, 13000, 14000, 15000, 21000, 290000, 42000 etc. Money that has been allocated to a certain OS can’t be simply be transferred to another OS without permission. So if you are running short of 21000 (travelling), you cannot take the money that has been allocated to other OS such as 29000(services) or worse still from OS 42000 to make for your short fall, unless you permission to do so from your financial Controlling Officer or from the Ministry of Finance. It is all about planning, meticulous planning. You planned properly what you need next year and you spend as per your plan. It is quite simple. But in reality things can be quite different. There are spending that has to be done not according to plan and this can create havoc to your budget.
As for 2016, we really had to tighten up on a lot of things such as connectivity, office supplies, transfer monies, asset acquirement, scholarships etc. Since the notice came recently after the 2016 budget, we really had to readjust our plan for next year. Hopefully things would improve by the middle of next year and we’ll get extra allocation.