A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Opposition warned over external borrowing complaints [The government intimidates the oppositions not to scrutinise its wasteful spending]

National Assembly resumes session for second day to discuss national budget for next year

PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) - National Assembly First Vice President Ngoun Nhel warned opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers Friday against attacking the government over its external borrowing plans.

The warning came on the second day of the annual parliamentary budget debate and was accompanied by a reminder to all lawmakers to stay on topic.

Finance Minister Keat Chhon said last month that Cambodia would borrow the equivalent of 600 million special drawing rights, the unit of account of the International Monetary Fund, over the coming year. Sources of funds are expected to include the IMF and the Asian Development Bank as well China, Japan and South Korea.

The budget bill being debated in the National Assembly boosts spending by 12.9 percent to $3 billion, accounting for 19.8 percent of gross domestic product.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay expressed concern Thursday about increased spending funded by external borrowing. He said the opposition party wants such spending to be more than halved from 600 to 130 million special drawing rights.

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