Heng to deliver Budget on Feb 20

This year's Budget, to be delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Feb 20, will be a closely watched one.
This year's Budget, to be delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Feb 20, will be a closely watched one.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

As the economy slows, this year's Budget, to be delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Feb 20, will be a closely watched one.

For one thing, the Budget is expected to reflect some of the Committee on the Future Economy's (CFE's) recommendations.

The committee was set up to develop strategies to build a vibrant economy, and is likely to release its findings later this month.

For another, keeping up the pace of economic growth and the creation of jobs will be important Budget themes amid tepid global economic conditions.

Analysts expect more measures to help marine and offshore firms, which have suffered during the oil price slump, as well as ways to help firms cope with business costs and manpower issues in the short term.

Mr Heng, who is presenting his second Budget, also co-chairs the CFE.

After the Budget is delivered, Parliament will debate the Budget statement the following week. Parliament's rules state that there must be a break of no less than five clear days before it meets again to debate the Budget statement.

The Budget debate will be followed by the debate on the spending plans of various ministries, which will take two weeks in all.

The public can continue sending in their views and suggestions on Budget issues.

This can be done through the Budget website www.singaporebudget.gov.sg and several platforms of Reach, the Government feedback unit. The feedback exercise closes on Jan 13.

The last pre-Budget Listening Point, where Singaporeans can give feedback in person, is on Sunday. It will be held at the Hougang Hawker Centre, Block 681, Hougang Avenue 8, from 7.30am to 11.30am.

There will also be an online question-and-answer session today from 8pm to 9.30pm on Reach's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReachSingapore).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2017, with the headline 'Heng to deliver Budget on Feb 20'. Print Edition | Subscribe